In addition to their well-known effects on lipids, statins also lower high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). How helpful are hs-CRP levels in the management of hyperlipidemia in a primary-care setting where patients can have comorbid or concomitant conditions that can elevate CRP?
—George Demnos, MD, Deerfield, Ill.

The serum concentration of CRP (produced by the liver in response to interleukin-6) increases markedly in the setting of acute inflammation, infection, and trauma. Chronic inflammation can also cause elevations in serum levels of CRP. Since these are persistent increases, it is not feasible to use CRP for further risk assessment or management in a patient with hyperlipidemia and an underlying inflammatory disease other than atherosclerosis.
—Norma M. Keller, MD (107-15)