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Ann Intern Med. 2002 Apr 2;136(7):529-33.

Is C-reactive protein specific for vascular disease in women?

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  • 1Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

C-reactive protein (CRP) predicts risk for future cardiovascular events in asymptomatic individuals. However, because CRP also predicts total mortality, its specificity for vascular disease is uncertain.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the predictive value of CRP for cancer and cardiovascular disease, the major determinants of mortality.

DESIGN:

Prospective, nested case-control study.

SETTING:

The Women's Health Study, an ongoing prospective cohort study involving 28345 U.S. women 45 years of age and older who were healthy at the time of enrollment.

PARTICIPANTS:

643 women who subsequently developed cancer or had cardiovascular events; 643 age- and smoking-matched women who remained free of either disease during 58-month follow-up.

MEASUREMENTS:

Baseline CRP levels.

RESULTS:

Little evidence showed that increasing quartiles of baseline CRP predicted incident cancer (adjusted relative risks, 1.0, 1.2, 1.1, and 1.3; P for trend > 0.2). In contrast, increasing quartiles of baseline CRP were a strong marker of risk for future cardiovascular disease (adjusted relative risks, 1.0, 2.9, 3.4, and 5.6; P for trend < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

C-reactive protein appears to independently predict cardiovascular events but not cancer.

Comment in

PMID:
11926788
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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