Last updated: Oct 14, 2008
Our growing understanding of inflammation's role in atherosclerosis doesn't diminish the importance of cholesterolyou still have to keep that "bad" number down and the "good" number upbut it does present another way to anticipate cardiovascular disease.
Implications for treatment
Though the exact role of inflammatory markers is yet to be determined, if your CRP test uncovers high levels of CRP (defined by the American Heart Association as over 3 mg/L), it is probably a sign that you should address your risk for cardiovascular disease, even if you have normal cholesterol.
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Not everyone is convinced that inflammation is the next big thing in cardiac care. The role of inflammation and the value of CRP as a predictor are still very much open to debate, and even supporters of the inflammation theory admit that it is unlikely to become more important than cholesterol.