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Patient Characteristics Poor Predictors of Heart Biomarker

Last Updated: July 30, 2009.

Patient demographics and clinical characteristics are poor predictors of having C-reactive protein levels high enough to benefit from statin treatment, according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Patient demographics and clinical characteristics are poor predictors of having C-reactive protein (CRP) levels high enough to benefit from statin treatment, according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Paul Muntner, Ph.D., from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues analyzed whether patient characteristics could be used to identify individuals with CRP levels of 2 mg/L or greater using data from 887 older men and women currently not taking, or recommended to take, statins.

Although individuals with CRP levels of 2 mg/L or greater were significantly more likely to be smokers, obese and have chronic kidney disease, the researchers found that such characteristics, plus demographic information, had positive predictive values less than 70 percent and negative predictive values less than 60 percent in identifying individuals with CRP levels of 2 mg/L or greater.

"In conclusion, these findings suggest patient characteristics cannot be easily used to identify patients with CRP 2 mg/L or greater," Muntner and colleagues write. "Given the demonstrated benefits of statin therapy, cost of measuring CRP, and large percentage of older U.S. adults with high CRP, universal statin therapy for older U.S. adults warrants investigation."

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