Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

Inflammation: Putting Out The Fire in the Heart

If you've struggled to lower your cholesterol levels to some presumed "safe" zone, you might have wondered how much good all that work did when you learned that half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol. The good news is, researchers have fingered a culprit: inflammation, which may be as important as cholesterol in causing heart disease. The better news is that a test for something called C-reactive protein (crp) can tell you your risk. If it's high, the same statins that help control cholesterol can lower crp as well. In one study, people with high crp who took a particular statin had 54% fewer heart attacks than those given a placebo.