However, one expert was more cautious.
"We cannot say cannot say CRP is a risk factor nor a causal mediator," said Dr. Andrew Tonkin, head of the cardiovascular research unit at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. "I don't think we would screen everyone, not at all at this time. We need to know the absolute risk reductions."
The findings do indicate that women could be taking statins for primary prevention, Gotto said. But the specific age group these findings relate to needs to be kept in mind.
Weintraub doubted that the benefit would be seen with all drugs in the class of statins. "There are features in each of the drugs that makes it better or not as good an anti-inflammatory agent," he said.
The American Heart Association has more on C-reactive protein.
SOURCES: Howard Weintraub, M.D., clinical director, Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., director, women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Antonio M. Gotto Jr., M.D., dean and professor, medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City; Andrew Tonkin, M.D., head, cardiovascular research unit, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Paul Ridker, M.D., Eugene Braunwald professor of medicine, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; statement, Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director, U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Nov. 20, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine
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