CRP ‘does not cause heart disease’

CRP is an indicator, not a cause, of heart diseaseFor some time now, having high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) has been considered a key cause of artery hardening and heart disease.

However, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that CRP is not actually a cause of cardiovascular disease, but simply an indicator.

Danish researchers approached the link between CRP and heart problems by conducting genetic tests on 50,000 people to determine their levels of the protein. Genetics help determine how much CRP people have in their bodies.

After analyzing this data, researcher Dr. Borge Nordestgaard told Reuters that the team discovered “very, very strong” evidence that the protein was not a cause of heart disease.

Instead, he suggested that CRP works by measuring the level of arterial hardening that has occurred in the body.

In light of this finding, pharmaceutical companies may want to reevaluate their efforts at developing drugs that reduce levels of CRP, he said. The protein may actually perform an important function by monitoring inflammation.

When a build-up of plaque blocks the arteries, a person is at heightened risk of suffering angina, a heart attack or congestive heart failure.