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PLoS One. 2008 Aug 20;3(8):e3013. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003013.

Does high C-reactive protein concentration increase atherosclerosis? The Whitehall II Study.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom. m.kivimaki@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, is associated with risk of coronary events and sub-clinical measures of atherosclerosis. Evidence in support of this link being causal would include an association robust to adjustments for confounders (multivariable standard regression analysis) and the association of CRP gene polymorphisms with atherosclerosis (Mendelian randomization analysis).

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We genotyped 3 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) [+1444T>C (rs1130864); +2303G>A (rs1205) and +4899T>G (rs 3093077)] in the CRP gene and assessed CRP and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), a structural marker of atherosclerosis, in 4941 men and women aged 50-74 (mean 61) years (the Whitehall II Study). The 4 major haplotypes from the SNPs were consistently associated with CRP level, but not with other risk factors that might confound the association between CRP and CIMT. CRP, assessed both at mean age 49 and at mean age 61, was associated both with CIMT in age and sex adjusted standard regression analyses and with potential confounding factors. However, the association of CRP with CIMT attenuated to the null with adjustment for confounding factors in both prospective and cross-sectional analyses. When examined using genetic variants as the instrument for serum CRP, there was no inferred association between CRP and CIMT.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Both multivariable standard regression analysis and Mendelian randomization analysis suggest that the association of CRP with carotid atheroma indexed by CIMT may not be causal.

PMID:
18714381
PMCID:
PMC2507732
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0003013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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