C-Reative Protein (CRP) and Your Heart

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Filed Under: Heart Health, Stroke, Heart Attack
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

C-reactive protein is a heart risk factor that the medical world has started to take note of. It’s a blood protein that, when found in elevated levels, may indicate a risk for heart attack and stroke.  

CRP can be detected when there is inflammation resulting from trauma or infection. Let’s look at some study results:  A 1985 Finnish study found that half of patients with coronary heart disease had high levels of an antibody known as C-reactive protein, compared with only 17 percent of healthy controls.

The Physicians Health Study indicated that C-reactive protein could predict future cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack in healthy and high-risk individu­als, and that high levels of this protein increase risk for heart attack and stroke.

In healthy postmenopausal women with levels of C-reactive protein and 11 other substances, the one-fourth with the highest C-reactive protein lev­els were 4.4 times more likely to have had a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem than the one-fourth with the lowest levels.

If you have cardiovascular problems or you’ve recently experienced a virus or urinary infection that could cause inflammation, have your doctor check your C-reactive protein levels. CRP can be detected when there is inflam­mation resulting from trauma or infection (including pneumonia, herpes, chlamydia, and possibly even a viral infection that simulates a cold). A simple blood test is as accurate as cholesterol and homocysteine screening in pre­dicting a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.

For more information on heart risk factors and how to prevent them, visit www.drsinatra.com.

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