CRP 'as important' as LDL cholesterol

Reducing levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein is as important as lowering LDL cholesterol levels for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, US research suggests.

A follow-up study of the JUPITER trial, presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Florida last week, showed that statin therapy works best in the presence of inflammation.

A total of 15,548 healthy men and women were randomly assigned to receive either rosuvastatin 20mg or placebo.

At the end of the five-year study, the researchers, from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, found that participants taking rosuvastatin who achieved an LDL level less than 1.8mmol/L had a 55 per cent reduction in vascular events.

But patients with a high sensitivity C-reactive protein level less than 2mg/L had a 62 per cent reduction in vascular events.

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