C-reactive proteins, which are released into the bloodstream as a result of inflammation, may not be an accurate early predictive marker for chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, according to a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers. The finding calls into question the clinical usefulness of the proteins as an indicator of disease.
Instead, the researchers found, levels of C-reactive proteins circulating in the blood are more an indicator of a patients weight that can be influenced by gender and ethnicity. While not the elusive predictor for osteoarthritis that many rheumatologists have been seeking, C-reactive protein levels could serve as a useful indicator of an osteoarthritis patients response to therapy, according to the Duke researchers.
C-reactive proteins are produced by the liver in response to inflammation or infections, and their levels in the blood can rise dramatically in many chronic disease states. While previous studies by other researchers have suggested that elevated levels of C-reactive protein may be a predictive marker for disease, they did not take into account the role of weight or ethnicity, the Duke researchers said.
Richard Merritt | dukemed news
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