Evolution of C-Reactive Protein as a Cardiac Risk Factor

Paula J. D'Amore, PhD, D(ABMLI)


Lab Med. 2005;36(4):234-238. 

In This Article


Chronic, low-grade inflammation is strongly associated with atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes, and may play a role in the underlying pathogenesis of both diseases. Whether there is a causal relationship for inflammation with atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes remains to be resolved. Both disorders are multifactorial in nature. However, Stern suggested that diabetes and atherosclerosis "share common genetic and environmental antecedents, ie, they spring from a common soil."[43] The 2 diseases are interconnected by a number of disorders that are part of the metabolic syndrome such as obesity, dyslipidemia, impaired fasting glucose, and hypertension. Elevated levels of hsCRP are associated with each of these disorders and the metabolic syndrome increases the risk for CVD and type 2 diabetes. Theories that enhance our understanding of atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes and unravel the fundamental relationship of the metabolic syndrome to these two diseases need to be further elucidated. In the interim, determination of hsCRP levels can aid in the diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome and provide important risk information. Additionally, multifactorial intervention based on behavioral modification and pharmacologic therapy as suggested by Gande and colleagues[44] should be considered in those with the metabolic syndrome.


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