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Clin Cardiol. 2005 Sep;28(9):408-12.

High-sensitivity C-reactive protein as a risk assessment tool for cardiovascular disease.

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Department of Cardiology, University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030-4095, USA.


Almost half of first cardiovascular events occur in individuals with no known risk factors. Attempts in the last decade to predict cardiovascular risk more accurately have led to the emergence of a novel risk factor, C-reactive protein (CRP), which has proved to be as good a risk predictor as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. C-reactive protein is an index of inflammation that is now believed to promote directly all stages of atherosclerosis, including plaque rupture. As measured by high-sensitivity assays, high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) also independently predicts recurrent events in patients with known coronary artery diseases. Recent evidence implicates hs-CRP, and thus inflammation, in the metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus, particularly in women. As a clinical tool for cardiovascular risk assessment, hs-CRP testing enhances information provided by lipid screening or global risk assessment. Statin therapy and other interventions can lower hs-CRP. Whether or not such reductions can prevent cardiovascular events is under investigation.

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