Usefulness of cardiovascular disease test questioned

t adding a broadly applied CRP strategy to current cholesterol-based guidelines would make over half the adults age 35 and older in the United States eligible for lipid-lowering therapy.

"Before expanding treatment criteria to include more low-risk patientsfor whom treatment benefit is not establishedwe should ensure the treatment of high-risk patients where the benefit of therapy is clear," says Woloshin.

The authors note that their study has several limitations. Since the NHANES data did not include some cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., presence of an aortic abdominal aneurysm or peripheral artery disease), the number of people in the highest risk groups may be underestimated. Second, not every patient made eligible for cholesterol-lowering therapy by the CRP test will get treated; some will try lifestyle measures first (although data from other studies suggest these measures will only succeed for a minority).


Contact: Genevieve Haas
Dartmouth College

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