Dr. Michael Lee graduated from Stanford University with honors and received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1996. Dr. Lee completed his internal medicine residency at Mount Auburn Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

CRP – a new marker for heart disease risk

One of the things I love about medicine is that our understanding of the body is constantly changing. We’ve known that cholestrol drugs called statins reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks in people with high cholesterol. Now, a study called Jupiter has shown that a blood test, CRP (C-Reactive Protein), can show if you’re at risk even if you have normal cholesterol. If your CRP level is high, taking a statin can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke by around 50%.

Practical Implications
1) Men over 55 and women over 65 who are not already taking a statin should check their CRP level.
2) If your CRP is ≥ 2, you should consider taking a baby aspirin and a statin to reduce your LDL cholesterol 50% as well as substantially reduce your CRP.
3) Remember that exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation all lower CRP and cardiovascular risk.

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