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Am J Hypertens. 2005 Aug;18(8):1123-9.

C-reactive protein is related to arterial wave reflection and stiffness in asymptomatic subjects from the community.

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  • 1Divisions of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Emerging data suggest that C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, is associated with functional properties of arteries. We investigated the relationship of CRP to measures of arterial wave reflection and stiffness (aortic augmentation index [AIX], carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity [PWV], and pulse pressure) in asymptomatic individuals from the community.


Subjects (n = 214) had a mean age of 59 years and 53% were men. CRP was measured by a high-sensitivity assay and values were log-transformed to reduce skewness. Radial artery waveforms were obtained by applanation tonometry, a validated transfer function was used to derive an ascending aortic pressure waveform, and AIX calculated. PWV was calculated from electrocardiogram-gated waveforms of the right carotid and right femoral artery obtained by applanation tonometry.


Log CRP was correlated with AIX (r = 0.24, P = .0005), PWV (r = 0.25, P = .0002), and pulse pressure (r = 0.29, P < or = .0001). In separate backward elimination multiple regression analyses, log CRP was significantly associated with AIX (P = .038) and pulse pressure (P = .036), and marginally significantly associated with PWV (P = .054), after adjustment for heart rate, height, and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors (age, sex, body mass index, mean arterial pressure, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and history of smoking).


These results suggest that CRP, a marker of systemic inflammation, is related to measures of arterial wave reflection and stiffness in asymptomatic subjects from the community. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms underlying this association and the implications for assessment and management of CHD risk.

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