Getting Tested for CRP May Save Your Life

Previous Article Next Article
January 26, 2005 | 31,246 views

Having high cholesterol and high blood pressure may not be the only culpritsbehind impaired heart health. According to findings, high levels ofa protein known as CRP (C-reactive protein) have been found to increaseone's risk of heart disease. In fact, studies have suggested the higherthe CRP level, the greater the risk.

And, while scientists are unaware if reducing the level would decreasethe risk of heart disease, some cardiologists say almost all patients--whetherthey feel they are healthy or not--can benefit from knowing theirlevel.

For example, one man who had his levels checked as a preventativemeasure received shocking results. Other than being a smoker, theman was healthy, stayed trim, exercised every day, did not takeany prescription drugs and had low blood pressure and cholesterol.However, after being tested twice, the man's CRP levels were a higher-than-normal3.1, signifying an elevated risk of heart disease. And quittinghis smoking habit would only bring his levels down a mere one-halfof a point.

The Role of CRP

CRP measures inflammation and is made in the liver and in cellslining blood vessels. Levels of the protein rise with factors thatmake heart disease more probable, such as:

Conversely, levels fall when patients lose weight, stop smokingand get their diabetes and cholesterol under control.

Whether CRP is an indicator or an instigator of heart disease remainsunder investigation: Infectious-disease specialists noted the proteinis part of the body's way of fending off microbial invaders, whileother research suggests CRP contributes to rupturing plaque andforming blood clots that block arteries--two components of a heartattack.

NewYork Times January 11, 2005

USAToday January 6, 2005

You may remember an article I previously ran in the newsletter about the benefits of havingyour blood tested for CRP. CRP appears to be an outstanding way to screen for the "hidden" inflammation that is connected with heart disease and cancer. I have also posted a number of blogs pertainingt o this issue.

The underlying problem regarding CRP, however, is that doctors are aware that it exists but are uncertain whether reducing it is at all helpful. In fact, some physicians remain rather ambivalent about it. They don't pay much attention to CRP and instead focus their attention on lowering cholesterol levels by prescribing virtually worthless (from a health perspective) and dangerous statins.

I used to be somewhat ambivalent about CRP myself, until recently when I decided to start performing this inexpensive test on all patients who come to my clinic to measure arterial inflammation. It truly is a worthwhile test, as it allows you understand if your health is in good standing or needs some assistance.

Preventing High CRP Levels

I urge you to follow these healthy guidelines to preventing high CRP levels so that you may reduce your risk of heart disease and other illnesses:

By following the above guidelines, I assure you that not onlywill you maintain healthy CRP levels, but you will also move towards optimal health and wellness.

Related Articles:

Does InflammationPredict Colon Cancer?

Exercise Lowers Levels ofBloodborne Heart Attack Indicator

Terror Fears Raise HeartDisease

Another Marker to SeeIf You Are at Risk for Heart Disease

New Dietary Guidelinesto Prevent Heart Disease

Vitamin E Reduces HeartDisease