Is C-reactive Protein a Villain or an Innocent Bystander?
C-reactive protein or CRP is a blood marker of inflammation. First identified in the 1930s, CRP has been intensively studied in the hopes of imbuing it with some predictive power: the higher the CRP level, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease would be one way of crystalizing a looked for relationship, with clear cause and effect the ideal. Sadly, such a relationship has had a bit of an on-again, off-again character, and in this week's JAMA, two studies further erode CRP's clinical utility.
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