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A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that a test for infection is a better predictor of susceptibility to a heart attack than blood cholesterol levels.

Many doctors still do not believe the more than 400 studies that show that infection with a bacteria called chlamydia causes heart attacks. C-reactive protein measures the body's ability to produce an antibody to kill a very common and serious bacteria called pneumococcus. Doctors order the test to see if a person has an infection because it can turn positive with any infection.

It still is a good idea to lower your cholesterol by reducing your intake of fatty meats, chicken and high fat diary products and eats lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. With the recent strong evidence e that heart attacks are caused by chlamydia infections, many doctors now prescribe a one-week course of Biaxin, Zithromax or dirithromycin to their patients at high risk for a heart attacks.

PM Ridker, CH Hennekens, JE Buring, N Rifai..C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women. New England Journal of Medicine, 2000, Vol 342, Iss 12, pp 836-843. NEJM March 23, 2000

checked 1/22/04

May 29th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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