New Model to Better Predict Heart Risk
Family History, CRP Testing Could Improve Assessment in Women
WebMD News Archive
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
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
“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
“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.”