Heart Beat: Gains for new heart disease marker

Heart Beat

Gains for new heart disease marker

C-reactive protein (CRP), one of the newest villains in heart disease, may be inching closer to joining high cholesterol as a cause of this all-too-common malady.

In two separate studies of people at very high risk for heart attack and stroke, cholesterol-lowering statin therapy proved more effective at preventing heart attacks or halting the progression of artery-clogging plaque when CRP levels fell along with cholesterol. These results, which were published in the January 6, 2005, New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that CRP may be more than just an innocent bystander, and that it may actually play a role in heart disease.

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