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CRP Has Poor Predictive Value for Later Heart Events

C-reactive protein in patients with acute coronary syndromes not linked to heart outcomes one year later

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) measurement at three time points in patients with acute coronary syndromes was unable to predict a composite of death, non-fatal myocardial infarction and unstable angina at one year, according to research published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Peter Bogaty, M.D., of Laval University in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from a prospective study of 1,210 patients with acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina, in whom CRP was measured at admission, discharge and, again, one month later. The researchers' goal was to assess the predictive value of this inflammatory marker for outcomes at one year.

CRP at admission and one month after discharge showed modest predictive value for the primary outcome -- a composite of death, non-fatal myocardial infarction and unstable angina at one year -- but this ability disappeared after adjustment for common clinical variables, the researchers report. The results suggest little to no predictive value of measuring CRP in acute coronary disease at these three points, the authors write.

The finding that no significant relationship was seen between CRP at these points and the occurrence of later myocardial infarction "suggests that the mechanism underlying the occurrence of acute myocardial infarction in patients previously hospitalized with an acute coronary syndrome is more complex than the presence of a persistent and heightened -- and measurable -- inflammatory blood profile," Bogaty and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded in part by unrestricted grants from Merck Frosst Canada and Pfizer Canada.

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