Sunday, May 23, 2010

Do You Need C-Reactive Protein Testing?

Ask Glen!

Q. What is C- Reactive Protein Testing? And do I need to be tested?

A. The CRP test is one of the new markers for heart disease risk. CRP is a blood test that reflects inflammation within the body. Researchers have become convinced over the last decade that the body's arteries are not just tubes that carry blood — they are living "systems," and atherosclerosis is the result of the process of damage and repair to the linings of the arteries. This process produces inflammation just as surely as a scrape causes redness on the surface of your skin — and a CRP rise as well.

For the last decade, the drumbeat has been building. New tests have come along that supposedly will improve our ability to estimate a person's risk of a heart attack. Right now, you are supposed to know your cholesterol numbers and your blood pressure. Do you also need to know your C-reactive protein (CRP)?

Why do we need CRP testing when we already have several types of cholesterol to worry about? Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are in fact wonderful tests, but the painful truth is that about half of heart attacks occur in people with normal lipid profiles. Some cardiology experts are increasingly hopeful that CRP will improve our ability to figure out who has the highest risk of heart disease among people whose cholesterol data seem just fine.

Assessing risk

Several studies have shown that, among people with normal cholesterol numbers, the people with increased CRP levels have a several-fold higher risk of heart problems. Not only that, at least one study found that treatment of people with normal LDL cholesterol and high CRP levels led to a reduction in their risk of heart attacks. On the other hand, statins (extremely effective cholesterol-lowering drugs) did not do anything for patients with normal LDL and low CRP levels.
Based on information available so far, it sounds like a good strategy would be:
  1. Get screened for cholesterol levels.
  2. If your levels are high, get treated.
  3. If your cholesterol levels are normal, consider a CRP test.
  4. If your CRP level is low, relax.
  5. If your CRP level is high, consider a statin, especially if you have other traditional risk factors for heart disease.
If this becomes the standard of care, it will mean that about three-fourths of adult Americans will be taking a statin — so the public health and economic consequences are huge. So huge, that most experts hedge when asked if everyone should get their CRP measured today.
As safe as statins are, they still occasionally have side effects. While CRP testing may help some people decide about the need for a lifetime of statin therapy, we still do not know if a person with an isolated high CRP without any other risk factors should take these drugs.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.

Please consult your physician !

Wishing You A Healthy Life Style!

Any questions?
Ask Glen!

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!