Using a simple, inexpensive test to determine levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, researchers were able to detect heart disease before symptoms were apparent, according to a report in todays rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers studied the relationship between levels of C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of inflammation in the body), and coronary calcium, which indicates the extent of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis, or fatty build-up in the arteries, is a sign of heart disease.
"While the majority of men and women in our study had some calcium in their arteries, the higher the C-reactive protein level, the more calcium they had," says Thomas J. Wang, M.D., lead author of the study and research fellow with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutes Framingham Heart Study.
Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
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