What role does C-reactive protein (CRP) play in assessing the risk of CAD in patients with borderline cholesterol indices?
—Traci Hartsfield-McIntyre, PA-C, Augusta, Ga.
Elevated levels of CRP are reflective of inflammation. Factors that can elevate CRP, such as rheumatoid disease, a common cold, or smoking, should be identified and treated or eliminated. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that CRP screening may be useful in predicting the risk of atherosclerosis. Treating borderline and/or higher cholesterol levels with a statin may decrease the inflammatory response, thereby decreasing atherosclerosis through secondary prevention. There is some controversy over whether patients with normal cholesterol indices and elevated CRP levels will benefit from taking a statin.
—Debra Kleinschmidt, PhD, PA (101-22)