The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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CRP and Statins for Primary Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease

Modestly elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations have been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.1 The recently published and heavily publicized results of the JUPITER trial will lead many patients to ask health care professionals whether they should have a CRP test to see if they should be taking a statin.

CRP — Inflammation is thought to play a role in the development of atherosclerosis. The cytokines that would be the most direct markers of inflammation are difficult to quantify because they are unstable in serum, but they upregulate hepatic synthesis of acute-phase reactants; these include amyloid, fibrinogen and C-reactive protein (CRP), so named because it can precipitate the C-polysaccharide of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Because CRP is stable in serum and easily measured by commercial assays, it has become the most widely used marker of inflammation. A ... more      

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