C-Reative Protein (CRP) and Your Heart
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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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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