Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

C-Reactive Protein Levels and Outcomes after Statin Therapy
Paul M. Ridker, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine, 1-6-05

This study “evaluated relationships between the LDL cholesterol and [CRP or C-reactive protein] levels achieved after treatment with 80 mg of atorvastatin or 40 mg of pravastatin per day and the risk of recurrent myocardial infarction or death from coronary causes among 3,745 patients with acute coronary syndromes.”

The study found that patients in whom “statin therapy resulted in LDL cholesterol levels of less than 70 mg per deciliter (1.8 mmol per liter) had lower event rates than those with higher levels. . . . However, a virtually identical difference was observed between those who had CRP levels of less than 2 mg per liter after statin therapy and those who had higher levels (2.8 vs. 3.9 events per 100 person-years, P=0.006),” regardless of the overall level of LDL cholesterol.

The study concluded that patients “who have low CRP levels after statin therapy have better clinical outcomes than those with higher CRP levels, regardless of the resultant level of LDL cholesterol. Strategies to lower cardiovascular risk with statins should include monitoring CRP as well as cholesterol.”

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