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nightsurfer on 2009-12-23"Largest-ever meta-analysis finds CRP is unlikely to be causal for CVD
December 21, 2009 | Lisa Nainggolan
Cambridge, UK - In the largest and most comprehensive meta-analysis to date looking at C-reactive-protein (CRP) levels and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, British researchers conclude that CRP is unlikely to be a causal factor for cardiovascular disease .
Although CRP concentration was linearly associated with CHD, stroke, and vascular mortality, as well as nonvascular mortality, statistical adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors "resulted in considerable weakening of associations," note the scientists of the Cambridge-based Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC), who report their findings online December 21, 2009 in the Lancet.
In an editorial accompanying the paper , Drs S Matthijs Boekholdt and John JP Kastelein (Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) say the UK authors "are to be commended for this impressive data set." Although the findings "add weight to the evidence of noncausality" for a role of CRP in the development of cardiovascular disease, "the debate can be resolved only by randomized trials with agents that specifically target CRP, and such compounds are currently under development," say the Dutch doctors.
Commenting on the new meta-analysis for heartwire, Dr Paul Ridker (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA), a long-time advocate of CRP and the lead investigator of the JUPITER trial, said: "Whether or not CRP is 'causal' for heart disease is neither the crucial issue at hand nor relevant for public health. What is crucial is getting international agreement that CRP identifies higher-risk individuals who would not otherwise qualify for a life-saving therapy, and then showing that such individuals clearly benefit from treatment. The new meta-analysis demonstrates the former, and JUPITER demonstrates the latter." "