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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006 Sep 15;174(6):626-32. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Inverse association between pulmonary function and C-reactive protein in apparently healthy subjects.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Rambam Medical Center, POB 9602, Haifa 31096, Israel. daronson@techunix.technion.ac.il



Increased levels of systemic markers of inflammation have been reported in patients with impaired lung function due to obstructive or restrictive lung disease.


We tested the hypothesis that a decline in lung function within the normal range may be associated with a systemic subclinical inflammation.


Pulmonary function tests, cardiorespiratory fitness, components of the metabolic syndrome, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) were determined in 1,131 subjects without known pulmonary disease.


Ninety-six of the study participants (8.5%) had FEV(1) of less than 80% of predicted values. There was a strong inverse association between CRP levels and quartiles of FEV(1). The median CRP levels in nonsmoking participants were 2.5, 1.8, 1.7, and 1.3 mg/L in the first, second, third, and forth FEV(1) quartiles, respectively (p < 0.0001). A similar inverse association was present in smoking subjects (median CRP levels were 3.8, 2.3, 2.0, and 1.9 mg/L in the first, second, third, and fourth FEV(1) quartiles, respectively; p < 0.0001). These associations remained highly significant after adjustment for age, sex, components of the metabolic syndrome, and fitness level (p = 0.0005).


An inverse linear relationship exists between CRP concentrations and measures of pulmonary function in subjects without pulmonary disease and in never-smokers. These results indicate that systemic inflammation may be linked to early perturbations of pulmonary function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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