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Am J Cardiol. 1999 Nov 1;84(9):1018-22.

Survey of C-reactive protein and cardiovascular risk factors in apparently healthy men.

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Brigham and Women's Hospital, The Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Several prospective studies have demonstrated a direct association between C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and the risks of developing cardiovascular disease. Few studies, however, have explored the interrelations between CRP levels and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. We evaluated the relation of CRP with several cardiovascular risk factors in a cross-sectional survey of 1,172 apparently healthy men. There were significant positive associations between CRP levels and age, number of cigarettes smoked per day, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein(a), apolipoprotein B, tissue-type plasminogen activator antigen, D-dimers, total homocysteine, and fibrinogen (all p values <0.05). Significant inverse associations were observed for exercise frequency, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and apolipoprotein A-I and A-II (all p values <0.02). In multivariate analysis, age, smoking status, and serum levels of tissue-type plasminogen activator antigen, fibrinogen, lipoprotein(a), and total homocysteine were independent correlates of CRP levels. Finally, in an analysis controlled either for all the independent correlates or for several usual risk factors, we observed progressive increases in levels of CRP with increasing prevalence of risk factors (p for trend <0.001 for independent correlates and <0.01 for usual risk factors). In conclusion, in a large cohort of apparently healthy men, CRP levels were associated with several cardiovascular risk factors. These data are compatible with the hypothesis that CRP levels may be a marker for preclinical cardiovascular disease.

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