Aims: Increases in C-reactive protein (CRP) levels have been shown to be associated with cardiovascular diseases as well as asymptomatic atherosclerosis and to be closely related to traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical and biochemical characteristics associated with CRP in non-diabetic, non-smoker subjects without hypertension.
Methods: A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test was performed on 305 Japanese subjects aged 40-70 years who were undergoing health examinations. We recruited non-diabetic, non-smoker subjects without hypertension. Subjects with known cardiovascular diseases, chronic or acute inflammation, malignant diseases, or autoimmune disorders were excluded. Plasma high-sensitivity CRP was measured in 125 subjects who satisfied the admission criteria.
Results: Plasma CRP levels were significantly higher in the 28 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than that in the 97 subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) (median 0.53, range 0.18-1.10 mg/l vs. median 0.32, range 0.17-0.49 mg/l; P = 0.032). There was a positive correlation of CRP with body mass index (BMI), triglycerides, uric acid, fasting glucose, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) 1-h glucose, OGTT 2-h glucose, and a negative correlation with HDL cholesterol. Multivariate regression analysis identified BMI (F = 8.57, P = 0.004) and OGTT 2-h glucose (F = 5.96, P = 0.016) as independent predictors for CRP.
Conclusions: BMI and OGTT 2-h glucose are the most important predictors for plasma CRP in non-diabetic, non-smoker subjects without hypertension.