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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
In a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers report that high levels of CRP may not cause heart disease, although testing CRP levels may still be a helpful indicator of higher risk.
Paul Elliott of Imperial College London used a technique called Mendelian randomization to determine people genetically predisposed to having high levels of CRP, and see if those genes also correlated with heart disease risk. The researchers found no association with genes for high CRP and heart disease risk, implying CRP is not a cause of heart disease.
Dr Paul M. Ridker, the director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital, told CNN that blood tests to measure CRP levels should still be used.
"It predicts vascular risk even when cholesterol is low and other risk factors are absent," Ridker said, adding that he feels that CRP is a good indicator of inflammation and that it is the inflammation, not the CRP itself, that helps cause heart disease.
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