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C-Reactive Protein the New Testing Standard

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C-Reactive Protein, the New Testing Standard

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Summary:
The latest factor to determine your risk of a heart attack is the C-
Reactive Protein (CRP) test. A simple blood test can check your CRP
level. A reading of 3.0 or higher triples your risk for a heart attack.
When chronic inflammation is present, the CRP levels increase. There is
now evidence that chronic low-grade inflammation causes atherosclerosis,
or hardening of the arteries.


Keywords:
C-Reactive Protein heart attack stroke inflammation CRP


Article Body:
The latest factor to determine your risk of a heart attack is the C-
Reactive Protein (CRP) test. CRP is a molecule produced by the liver in
response to an inflammatory response. A simple blood test can check your
CRP level. A reading of 3.0 or higher triples your risk for a heart
attack.

Under normal circumstances, inflammation is a short term condition; signs
include swelling, redness, and warmth. The swelling and redness are
caused by extra blood flow to the injured area. This brings in more
infection fighting white blood cells to the area. The warmth is another
of your body’s defense mechanisms. Microbes are killed by heat. In the
short term, this is not a problem.

When chronic inflammation is present, the CRP levels increase. Chronic
inflammation can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, long-term
infections, smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure. It is also caused
by plaque buildup in the blood vessels. There is now evidence that
chronic low-grade inflammation causes atherosclerosis, or hardening of
the arteries.

Here are ways to lower CRP:

1. Lower Your Stress – proven methods include exercise, meditation,
laughter, and having pets

2. Diet – olive oil, walnuts, salmon, mackerel, herring, tomatoes,
blueberries, eggplant, grains, whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables
all have an anti-inflammatory effect

3.   Smoking – just another reason to stop

4. Dental Hygiene – science has linked cavities, gingivitis, and missing
teeth to cardiovascular disease; the same bacteria that causes tooth
decay, causes inflammation in the blood vessels
5. Lose Weight – fat cells secrete inflammation causing proteins into
the bloodstream

6. Air Pollution – long-term exposure to car exhaust and coal power
plants provokes inflammation

7.   Alcohol – one drink per day has an anti-inflammatory effect

The following medications are being studied for their cardiovascular
anti-inflammatory effect:

1. Statins – aside from lowering cholesterol, they may reduce CRP levels
in just two weeks

2.   ACE Inhibitors – lowers blood pressure as well as CRP

3.   Diabetes Meds – Actos and Avandia have been shown to lower CRP

4. Aspirin – current research looks promising, another reason to take a
daily aspirin

5.   Multivitamins – showen to reduce CRP by 1/3 after six months


Researchers are still studying the exact connection between inflammation
and heart disease. I would recommend adding a CRP test next time you are
getting a routine blood test. It is rather inexpensive and could shine
some light on a possible problem before it is too late.

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posted:3/12/2010
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Mike Ward Mike Ward Senior Project Manager http://thezumbavideos.com/
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