Patients having high levels of a protein linked to inflammation can take a regimen of cholesterol-lowering statins as a protection against heart disease, a new study has suggested.

The study, conducted by the researchers at the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and the Women's Hospital at Boston, indicates that men and women with normal cholesterol but having high levels of the protein "hsCRP" could bear a 5 to 20 percent higher risk of developing heart disease within ten years.

A regiment of statins will lower this risk of a stroke or heart attack by more than 40 percent as these drugs are effective in lowering the "hsCRP" levels as well as cholesterol," says Dr. Paul Ridker, author of the study and director of the Center at Brigham.

The study's findings, published in the latest issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, says the research team went about reassessing existing data from a statin study that involved men aged over 50 and women aged above 60 who were prescribed 20 mg of rosuvastatin.

They used standard measures for risks related to gender, age, blood pressure, smoking, and cholesterol levels before figuring out that statins caused a 45 percent drop in the chances of a heart disease among patients who were otherwise risking the ailment in the course of ten years.

And those who faced a greater risk of heart disease, the chances of suffering a stroke or a heart attack dropped by half, the authors revealed while indicating that this discovery could potentially change the guidelines on how to screen and treat patients in this age group.

However, healthcare experts also warned that it might be early to draw any such conclusions regarding other types of statins or in the case of prescription drugs that uses lower dosages than those used by the research team as part of their studies.

The American Heart Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both recommend “hsCRP” testing for patients with an intermediate risk for heart disease.