Cardiac Culprit: Autopsies implicate C-reactive protein in fatal heart attacks

10:44am, April 17, 2002

The blood chemical called C-reactive protein (CRP)–an indicator of inflammation–is elevated in many heart disease patients. A new study of people who died suddenly of various causes finds that those who succumbed to a heart attack had an abundance of CRP in the blood, even though few had had outward signs of heart problems.

The finding bolsters the case for using CRP as a diagnostic tool to detect heart ailments because autopsies revealed that high CRP concentrations in blood coincide with the presence of dangerously unstable atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries.

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