Inflammation Ups Heart Disease Risk

A new test pinpoints a marker for inflammation

Take this to heart: A new test that detects inflammation in the body can help predict whether some people are at risk for heart attack and stroke. It’s not a cholesterol test, but it’s just as easy (and usually covered by insurance). Research shows it is at least as accurate at predicting risk.

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Meet the hs-CRP check, a more sensitive form of a standard CRP test that detect lower concentrations of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation. Inflammation in the arteries has been linked to heart attack, sudden death and stroke, says Leslie Cho, MD, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center.

You can’t see inflammation, but the hs-CRP test picks up on it and is now a routine screening tool for people with one or two heart risk factors. For patients with high CRP levels, the test can open the door to discussion about preventive steps including statin medications, says Dr. Cho.        

Read more:  Wall Street Journal