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Inflammation Markers May Help Predict Stroke Risk
Date:1/8/2009

were reclassified from the low- to the high-risk group. Reclassification was most frequent in the intermediate-risk group, the study found.

The findings are published in the February issue of the journal Stroke.

The findings don't prove the value of testing for inflammation biomarkers, Nambi said, adding, "They need to be looked at in different populations" of people.

But the study seems to support an American Heart Association recommendation that a CRP test isn't recommended for someone at low risk of stroke, which the association defines as less than 10 percent within 10 years. CPR tests are recommended, however, for individuals at intermediate risk -- 20 percent within 10 years.

And once the classification has been made, the biomarkers aren't the target of preventive measures, Nambi said. The real targets should be lowering blood pressure, keeping blood cholesterol at safe levels, avoiding obesity, and increasing physical activity, he said.

"Blood pressure has a lot more effect on stroke, compared to its role in heart disease," Nambi said. "Cholesterol is of more importance for heart disease."

Dr. Philip Gorelick, director of the Center for Stroke Research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, said "patients who are concerned about the risk of stroke or have risk factors for stroke should have these tests [for inflammation] done."

Adding the two inflammation biomarkers to conventional risk factors "should help determine how aggressively you treat the conventional risk factors, for example, how low you drive down cholesterol levels," he said.

More information

Learn more about CRP's role in heart disease and stroke at the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Vijay Nambi, M.D., cardiologist, Methodist DeBakey Hear
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