Q: How does C-reactive protein affect my heart disease treatment?
A: C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation in the body. If you have a cold or if you have an inflammatory or rheumatologic disease, you may see that your CRP levels are high. There have been numerous studies showing that patients who have high CRP levels are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. So it’s one of the markers that we use in our clinic if any of our patients are on the fence about starting certain cardiac treatments. If we see that the CRP is high, we are more aggressive with statin therapy in order to reduce the LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and more likely to start aspirin therapy to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
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— Preventive cardiologist Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH