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More Systemic Inflammation May Mean Higher CAD Risk

Higher levels of inflammatory markers more likely in those with high estimated 10-year CAD risk

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be a positive, independent and dose-dependent relation between systemic inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen and homocysteine, and the estimated 10-year risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), according to research published in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Chan Seok Park, M.D., of the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and colleagues analyzed the presence of systemic inflammation markers of 6,371 participants of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey categorized as low (less than 10 percent), intermediate (10 to 20 percent) and high (more than 20 percent) risk according to estimated 10-year risk for CAD.

The researchers found that the participants at high risk were more likely to have elevated circulating CRP levels. These individuals had higher circulating fibrinogen, homocysteine, leukocyte and platelet levels than those in the low-risk group. The researchers also found a dose-dependent increase in circulating levels of inflammatory markers across CAD risk categories.

"In conclusion, these findings indicate that low-grade systemic inflammation and hyperhomocysteinemia were present in participants with high 10-year risk for CAD," the authors write. "These results may justify the use of anti-inflammatory medications, such as statins, in the apparently healthy population at high risk for CAD."

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