September 24, 2009
Statin Cuts Heart Risk With High CRP

People with high sensitivity C-reactive protein (an inflammation marker) benefit from a cholesterol-lowering statin even if their cholesterol is low.

DALLAS, Sept. 22, 2009 — Statin therapy may be as effective in reducing heart attack, stroke, the need for artery-opening procedures, or heart-related death in people with normal or even low cholesterol but elevated high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) as in patients with high cholesterol, according to research reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Note the reference to high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP)

Doctors would need to treat approximately 20 patients with high hsCRP (a sign of inflammation) and normal cholesterol levels with a statin for five years to avoid one incident of the primary end points of heart attack, stroke, percutaneous coronary intervention (a catheter-based procedure to reopen blocked arteries), or one cardiovascular-related death, researchers said.

The number needed to treat (NNT) value — 20 patients in this case — is a commonly used metric that helps doctors evaluate therapies.

The benefit is greater than that seen with statins taken to lower high cholesterol.

“Those NNT values are comparable or even superior to NNT values we already consider acceptable to prevent cardiovascular disease with statins in people with high cholesterol levels, where the 5-year NNT values range from 44 to 63,” said Paul M. Ridker, M.D., lead author of the study and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass.
The lower the NNT the better, because it means fewer patients would need to be treated to reap a benefit, he said.

So short of taking Lipitor or Crestor can you bring down your CRP and cut your heart disease, stroke, and other heart risks? Sure. Plant sterols, soy protein, foods high in viscous fiber and a few other dietary changes will lower cholesterol and CRP. You want to go for an inflammation-lowering diet. Generally speaking, dietary factors known to lower cholesterol also lower CRP. In your diet make like an ape man.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 September 24 12:12 AM  Aging Cardiovascular Studies

The Healthy Librarian said at September 24, 2009 6:08 PM:

Let Me Get This Straight. Why Would I Want to Take a Drug That Has Side Effects If I Just Want To Lower My Inflammation? Is There a Non-Drug Way to Lower Inflammation Without Risks?

Exactly right! Dr. Ridker and most cardiologists will be the first ones to advise going to the gym, changing your diet & lifestyle before getting on a lifetime course of statins.

There are many ways to naturally lower your inflammation and I'll list them for you at the end of this post. And guess what? The best part is that the natural ways to lower inflammation aren't just 2-fer drugs like the statins, they're Five-fer non-drugs!

Not only will they cut your risk of heart disease & stroke, but they just may cut your risk for cancer, Alzheimer's, joint pain, depression, hypertension, and perhaps help you live longer, as well!

An anti-inflammatory diet, exercise, adequate Vitamin D, stress control & solid sleep will lower your CRP levels--cut your inflammation--make you healthy--and put you in a good mood. A Happy Healthy Long Life!! Honestly, I know it sounds like snake oil & junk science, but it's backed by research study after research study.

Why take a 2-fer drug like a statin, when you can potentially prevent 5 diseases/conditions with diet & lifestyle changes? Unless, you have to take a statin--in which case, you gotta do what works for you. If I had to take a statin, I absolutely would. It's a powerful drug with a good safety profile that has benefited many. But there is an alternative.

To Read More:

The Inflammation Connection--Statins, CRP & the JUPITER Study. The Non-Prescription Way to Prevent Heart Attacks & Strokes

Jake said at September 25, 2009 12:53 AM:

The way statins cut inflammation is by raising your Vitamin D level. Only in America would doctors recommend paying $125 a month for statins to raise your Vitamin D level while you could achieve the same results by taking Vitamin D supplement for $3 a month.

Ed Flinn said at September 25, 2009 5:32 AM:

Nobody's paying $125 a month for Simvastatin, available as a generic at your local pharmacy.

Thras said at September 26, 2009 6:32 AM:

What you'd expect. Now the study I want to see is whether or not statins benefit people with high cholesterol, but low CRP.

Doctors currently target certain cholesterol levels with statins, even though the average lab can't distinguish between type-A and type-B LDL cholesterol patterns. They prescribe statins to target certain cholesterol levels -- even though a type-B person with high LDL cholesterol -- though light and fluffy -- doesn't need the help, and a type-A person is at huge risk even at low levels of their dense LDL.

If it's about inflammation, a lot of people may be receiving statins that don't need them, or are taking the wrong dosage.

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