Skip to content

    Heart Disease Health Center

    Font Size

    New Model to Better Predict Heart Risk

    Family History, CRP Testing Could Improve Assessment in Women

    CRP Value Questioned

    Cardiologist Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, tells WebMD his own work at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., showed the importance of including family history in assessment of cardiovascular risk.

    “Right away, practitioners around the country should start incorporating family history into their assessment of [cardiovascular] risk,” he says.

    The advice regarding C-reactive protein is not quite as clear. CRP blood testing is not currently recommended as a routine test for measuring cardiovascular risk.

    In a 2003 policy statement, officials with the American Heart Association (AHA) and the CDC wrote, “We have no evidence that treatment strategies based on CRP levels improve survival or reduce cardiovascular complications.”

    Blumenthal says the new study may change that.

    “The [new findings] support the idea that when a doctor or patient is on the fence about lifelong aspirin or lipid-lowering therapy, CRP testing can be helpful,” he says.

    But New York cardiologist and AHA spokeswoman Lori Mosca, MD, PhD, remains unconvinced.

    “CRP testing is not routinely recommended nor has it been proven that this test lowers risk,” she tells WebMD.

    Mosca adds that risk prediction models are not widely used in the clinical setting.

    “There have been many attempts to create more precise models to predict [cardiovascular] risk, but most treatment decisions are based on clinical practice guidelines," says Mosca. "If a patient has high blood pressure you treat it, regardless of what a prediction model says.”

    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    x-ray of human heart
    A visual guide.
    atrial fibrillation
    Symptoms and causes.
    heart rate graph
    10 things to never do.
    heart rate
    Get the facts.
    empty football helmet
    red wine
    eating blueberries
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Inside A Heart Attack
    Omega 3 Sources
    Salt Shockers
    lowering blood pressure