You've most likely heard about the key health numbers that the Know Your Number campaigns have encouraged us to monitor. Increasing public awareness about high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high body mass index (BMI) has been a cornerstone of the public health effort to combat heart disease.
There is another number that is less well-known, but that can also be an important measure of heart disease risk, as well as risk for other chronic diseases. This measure is a lab test called C-reactive protein (CRP), and it is a general marker of inflammation. While there are many lab tests that measure inflammation, CRP is the one that is most widely used and available.