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For a novel marker of cardiovascular risk to be useful clinically, not only must a consistent set of prospective epidemiologic data exist, but the marker of interest must also add to the predictive value associated with lipid screening. In this graph of the interaction between elevated levels of CRP and elevated levels of total cholesterol, the height of each bar represents the adjusted relative risk of a future vascular event in four study groups in the Physicians' Health Study. The group with the highest risk are those who have both an elevated CRP level and an elevated level of total cholesterol. The risk in this group is greater than the product of the risks associated with either isolated hyperlipidemia or an isolated elevation of CRP.

Ridker PM, Glynn RJ, Hennekens CH. C-reactive protein adds to the predictive value of total and HDL cholesterol in determining risk of first myocardial infarction. Circulation 1998;97:2007-2011.