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VIDEO: C-Reactive Protein Not a Direct Cause of Coronary Heart Disease
VIDEO: C-Reactive Protein Not a Direct Cause of Coronary Heart Disease

(June 30, 2009 - Insidermedicine) Levels of C-reactive protein in the blood do not appear to have a direct impact on coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Here is some information on C-reactive protein:

•    It is a protein released by the body in the presence of inflammation

•    In general, those with high levels of C-reactive protein in their blood are at higher risk for stroke and heart disease

•    It remains unclear whether C-reactive protein causes these conditions or is simply an indicator

Researchers from Imperial College London analyzed the genetic makeup of over 20,000 individuals in order to determine which gene variants are associated with blood levels of C-reactive protein. They analyzed these variants to see which were associated with an increased risk for CHD.

The researchers identified variations in 5 genes that are associated with C-reactive protein levels. Only the CRP gene is known to directly impact C-reactive protein levels in the blood. Presumably, the other 4 genes are involved in C-reactive protein levels because their actions are in some way linked with the actions of CRP.

Today’s research suggests that C-reactive protein is not a direct cause of CHD. Rather, its association with other genes is responsible for the observed link between high levels of C-reactive protein and CHD risk.

For Insidermedicine in Depth, I'm Dr. Susan Sharma.