Are C-Reactive Proteins considered important in relation to cardiovascular health?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

C-Reactive Proteins are found in the blood, where they bind with dead cells as part of the compliment system. CRP levels rise when inflammation is present, for example in response to an injury, and help to identify dead cells for removal and disposal. CRP reaction rises when arteries are inflamed from plaque buildup or other factors; this is a good indicator of heart disease or risk of heart attack. The CRP rise itself is not a cause of risk, but instead only a biological reaction to the conditions that cause risk. In this case, CRP acts as a warning but is not directly involved in hurting or healing the cardiovascular system. New studies have shown that CRP testing is more accurate than cholesterol testing when checking for or predicting risk of heart disease.

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