MedPage Today (10/4, Walsh) reports, "Adding a marker of inflammation such as C-reactive protein or fibrinogen to a cardiovascular risk profile could improve the model's predictive ability for a future cardiac event," according to a meta-analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine. MedPage Today points out that "recently, guidelines from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology deemed it 'reasonable' for CRP levels to be measured in patients considered to be at intermediate risk for cardiovascular disease, but further guidance is expected from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute."
HealthDay (10/4, Reinberg) reports that investigators "analyzed 52 studies that included more than 246,000 people who had no history of cardiovascular disease." The researchers "found that measuring C-reactive protein or fibrinogen, along with other standard tests such as blood pressure and cholesterol, in about 13,000 people identified as being at risk for cardiovascular disease could prevent a few strokes and heart attacks over time."
WebMD (10/4, Boyles) reports, however, that "while the tests were predictive in men with no history of heart attack or stroke, they did not appear to be useful to women."
HeartWire (10/4, Hughes) reports that one of the study's lead authors "told heartwire that the current results suggested that if all patients at intermediate risk (10-year risk of 10% to 20%) were screened for either CRP or fibrinogen, 5% would be reclassified as high risk (>20% risk) and so eligible for statins, and this would prevent one cardiovascular event for every 400 to 500 patients screened," but he "did not want to be drawn into discussions as to whether this was worthwhile or cost-effective, saying this was the job of guidelines committees and health economists."