The heart of the matter

Q: I had a checkup with my doctor last week. My cholesterol levels and homocysteine levels checked out just fine, but my C-reactive protein levels are high. Should I be worried about my heart health?

JVW: Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels can be an indicator of cardiovascular inflammation, which can be a major risk factor for heart disease. But there are at least two other conditions that have been shown to cause blood-vessel inflammation and elevated CRP levels: chlamydia and helicobacter.

Have your doctor order blood tests for antibodies to these two microorganisms.