Role of high-sensitivity CRP in cardiovascular disease
Ongoing clinical trials are measuring the role of hs-CRP in cardiovascular disease. hs-CRP is more useful than CRP for predicting an otherwise healthy person's risk for cardiovascular disease and provides a window into the patient's overall inflammation status (something not captured by LDL and other lipid-related risk factors).
According to the American Heart Association, an hs-CRP >3.0 mg/L defines high risk while an hs-CRP of 1.0-3.0 mg/L indicates average risk.
Start with lifestyle modifications (e.g., weight reduction/control, diet and exercise program). Lower any other risk factors (e.g., hypertension), even if borderline. Aim for good glucose control. Smoking cessation and reduction of alcohol intake are advised. Initiating a low-dose statin could be justified if the benefits outweigh the risks, but the hs-CRP would have to be monitored for changes in the following months.—Debra Kleinschmidt, PhD, PA (137-2)