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High levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP) in healthy, middle-aged men signals an increased risk of ischemic stroke in later life, according to a 20-year follow-up study reported in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. In this study, men with few cardiovascular risk factors but with the highest CRP levels studied had a 3.8-fold increased incidence of stroke in 10 to 15 years compared to men with the lowest levels, says lead author J. David Curb, M.D., of the Pacific Health Research Institute and the Department of Geriatric Medicine and Medicine at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs before undergoing artery-clearing procedures appears to reduce deaths, heart attacks, and recurrent blockages among patients with elevated levels of an inflammation marker, according to research reported in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Previous studies have suggested that taking a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins after percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) such as balloon angioplasty or stenting could lower deaths.