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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002 Aug 1;22(8):1323-8.

Elevated serum C-reactive protein levels and early arterial changes in healthy children.

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Department of Clinical Physiology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.



Elevated serum concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) predicts cardiovascular events in adults. Because atherosclerosis begins in childhood, we undertook a study to determine whether changes in brachial artery endothelial function and the thickness of the carotid intima-media complex, 2 markers of early atherosclerosis, are related to CRP levels in healthy children.


Brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) were measured with ultrasound in 79 children (aged 10.5+/-1.1 years). Compared with the children with CRP levels under the detection limit (<0.1 mg/L, n=40, group 1), the children with higher CRP (0.1 mg/L< or =CRP< or =0.7 mg/L, n=20, group 2; CRP >0.7 mg/L, n=19, group 3) had lower FMD (9.0+/-4.4% versus 7.8+/-3.3% versus 6.5+/-2.6%, respectively; P=0.015 for trend) and greater carotid IMT (0.45+/-0.03 versus 0.46+/-0.04 versus 0.49+/-0.06 mm, respectively, P=0.002 for trend). CRP level remained a statistically significant independent predictor for brachial FMD and carotid IMT in multivariate analyses.


These data suggest that CRP affects the arteries of healthy children by disturbing endothelial function and promoting intima-media thickening. The findings support the hypothesis that CRP plays a role in the pathogenesis of early atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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