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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000 Jan;20(1):198-203.

C-reactive protein in offspring is associated with the occurrence of myocardial infarction in first-degree relatives.

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  • 1Unita' di Aterosclerosi e Trombosi, IRCCS "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (CSS)," S Giovanni Rotondo, and Istituto di Medicina Interna e Geriatria, Palermo, Italy.


The relevance of elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in cardiovascular disease is gaining increasing recognition. A family history of coronary artery disease is a major determinant of coronary artery disease in the offspring. In a cohort of 1048 individuals without clinical evidence of atherosclerosis, we investigated the relationships between CRP levels and a family history of myocardial infarction. We measured CRP, fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and some genetic polymorphisms: plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (4G/5G), fibrinogen (Bbeta-chain G-->A(-455)), and angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion (I/D). Clinical data were collected by a World Health Organization-modified questionnaire for cardiovascular disease. When compared with subjects without first-degree relatives who had suffered a myocardial infarction (n=867), subjects with such first-degree relatives (n=181) were older (P=0.001), more often hypertensive (P<0. 001), and homozygous for the 4G allele (4G/4G) of the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene (P=0.003). In addition, they had a higher body mass index (P=0.036), raised plasma fibrinogen (P<0.007) and total cholesterol (P<0.001) concentrations, and CRP levels >0.33 mg/L (P=0.005). In a multiple logistic regression analysis, age (odds ratio [OR] 1.03, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.01 to 1. 05), total cholesterol (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.65), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 4G/4G (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.45), and CRP levels >0.33 mg/L (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.91) were all independently associated with a positive family history of myocardial infarction. We therefore conclude that raised levels of CRP independently identify the offspring of patients with a myocardial infarction.

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