Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Epidemiol. 2011 Feb;26(2):135-44. doi: 10.1007/s10654-010-9526-5. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Association of CRP and IL-6 with lung function in a middle-aged population initially free from self-reported respiratory problems: the Whitehall II study.

Author information

Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio Campus, 8550 Datapoint Drive, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78240, USA.


To assess whether two inflammatory markers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and change in their concentrations over 12 years, are associated with lung function (FVC and FEV(1)) 12 years after baseline. Data are from over 1,500 participants free from self-reported respiratory problems in a large-scale prospective cohort study of white-collar male and female civil servants. CRP and IL-6 measured at baseline (1991-1993) and follow-up (2002-2004) and FVC and FEV(1), measured at follow-up. Results adjusted for sociodemographic and anthropometric characteristics, health behaviours, biological factors, chronic conditions and medications, and corrected for short-term variability in CRP and IL-6 concentrations. Higher baseline levels of CRP and IL-6 were strongly associated with lower FVC and FEV(1), independent of potential confounders. A 10% increase serum CRP from baseline to follow-up was associated with lower values of FVC and FEV(1) at follow-up, 4.7 and 3.0 ml, respectively. The corresponding values for a 10% increase in IL-6 were 12.6 ml for FVC and 7.3 ml for FEV(1). Systemic low-grade inflammation is associated with only slightly poorer pulmonary function in a population free from self-reported respiratory problems 12 years earlier. These data provide evidence linking inflammation to adverse outcomes beyond cardiovascular disease. Interventions targeting inflammation may prevent lung function impairment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center