C-Reactive Protein and the Metabolic Syndrome: Useful Addition to the Cardiovascular Risk Profile?

Authors

  • Paul E. Szmitko MD,

    1. From the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;1 and the Division of Cardiac Surgery, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada2
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  • and 1 Subodh Verma MD, PhD 2

    1. From the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;1 and the Division of Cardiac Surgery, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada2
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Subodh Verma, MD, PhD, Division of Cardiac Surgery, St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 1W8
E-mail: subodh.verma@sympatico.ca

Abstract

The inflammatory marker C-reactive protein has emerged as a powerful independent predictor of cardiovascular disease risk. C-reactive protein may also be a mediator of inflammatory processes such as atherosclerosis development and progression, and it appears to be useful in identifying patients with, or at risk for developing, diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome. In the clinical practice setting, measurement of C-reactive protein levels can add information to help guide management decisions in persons who are at intermediate risk based on Framingham risk scores, who have preexisting cardiovascular disease, or who exhibit components of the metabolic syndrome. A large ongoing trial is investigating whether statin therapy will decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with elevated levels of C-reactive protein and low-to-normal levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

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