C-reactive protein (CRP), a nonspecific inflammatory marker, is widely used to monitor treatment of cardiovascular diseases (high serum CRP levels indicate poor outcome of heart disease). A healthy lifestyle decreases serum CRP levels, while obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking increase them. CRP, a stable pentameric protein, has a half-life of 19 hr, is not subject to diurnal variation, and can serve as a marker of wellness and a candidate for future direct access testing for people monitoring their health after adopting a healthier lifestyle. The CRP level may be influenced more by lifestyle than by genetics. Monozygotic twins may not have the same CRP level; within each twin pair, the one with higher adiposity generally has a higher CRP level than the one with low adiposity. Chronic diseases generally have a lower prevalence among Asians than among Westerners. Asians also have lower CRP levels than Westerners. In large population studies, the median CRP level of Asians is only one-tenth that of Westerners. Is there a factor in the lifestyle or diet of Asians that accounts for lower CRP levels? For example, a statin inhibitor of cholesterol synthesis occurs in red yeast rice, an important component of the Asian diet. In summary, CRP is a marker for monitoring cardiovascular therapy and assessing the wellness of the general population. Through improving health and preventing disease, CRP testing may help lower a nation's health costs.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 Mar|
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