Get the C-reactive protein test.Many readers ask how they can reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes. A new study shows that reducing your level of C-reactive protein C-Reactive Protein Definition
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein produced by the liver and found in the blood.
C-reactive protein is not normally found in the blood of healthy people. (CRP C-reactive protein (CRP)
A protein present in blood serum in various abnormal states, like inflammation.
Mentioned in: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
n.pr See C-reactive protein. )--an indicator of inflammation--can help.
The test is inexpensive, costing $10 to $20 to perform, and is available at labs and hospitals across the country. Requesting a CRP test won't be a burden on the healthcare system.
According to studies, if your CRP should come back high, you should lose weight, quit smoking, take aspirin, and lower cholesterol with statins Statins
A class of drugs commonly used to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Mentioned in: C-Reactive Protein or niacin niacin: see coenzyme; vitamin.
or nicotinic acid or vitamin B3
Water-soluble vitamin of the vitamin B complex, essential to growth and health in animals, including humans. . Special care should be taken to prevent chronic infections such as periodontal disease Periodontal Disease Definition
Periodontal diseases are a group of diseases that affect the tissues that support and anchor the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease results in the destruction of the gums, alveolar bone (the part of the jaws where and Helicobacter pylori in the upper GI tract. (A normal CRP is considered to be 0 to 10 milligrams per liter in hospital labs we checked.)
If your CRP is nice and low, don't be com placent--it would be wise to take all the above precautions. The CRP test is especially important to those with a family history of heart attacks and strokes.
The Scientific Evidence
Data from 3,745 heart attack patients in the PROVE IT--TIMI 22 trial showed those who had low CRP levels after statin stat·in
Any of a class of drugs that inhibit a key enzyme involved in the synthesis of cholesterol and promote receptor binding of LDL cholesterol, resulting in decreased levels of serum cholesterol. treatment did significantly better than those with high CRP levels, regardless of the level of LDL cholesterol attained.
"These new data confirm the crucial role inflammation plays in heart disease," said lead author Dr. Paul M. Ridker of Brigham and Women's Hospital Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is a hospital in the Longwood Area of the Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood of Mission Hill. With Massachusetts General Hospital, it is one of the two founding members of Partners HealthCare. . "The data also provide the first hard evidence that lowering CRP levels is associated with clinical benefits for our patients."
We first reported on the role of CRP in heart disease in the December 2002 issue of Medical Update (Vol. 28, Number 6).
"The high-sensitivity CRP test provides us with a way to measure very low levels of inflammation, which turn out to be highly predictive of future heart attacks and stroke," Dr. Ridker told us. "When we combine the new hsCRP test with standard cholesterol screening, we appear to be able to do a far better job in terms of predicting who will ultimately go on to have a heart attack or stroke than if we had relied on cholesterol levels alone."