Serum C-reactive protein in elderly men and women: association with mortality, morbidity and various biochemical values

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2005;65(1):23-31. doi: 10.1080/00365510510013505.


Objective: The primary aim of this study was to define the distribution and the prognostic value of serum C-reactive protein (s-CRP) measured by a high-sensitivity method in elderly subjects of both genders with special reference to the distribution below 10 mg/l. As a secondary aim, a possible gender difference of s-CRP was examined.

Material and methods: Baseline s-CRP was described in a population-based sample of opposite-sex, twin-pairs (197 F, 189 M available for blood-sampling) aged 71-80 years (mean age 74.5 years), considering mortality through the next 4 years, morbidity (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, arterial hypertension, venous thromboembolism, stroke, diabetes, gout, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis) before and after blood sampling, biochemical values (serum levels of urate, urea, ApoA1, ApoB, folate, FSH, LH, oestradiol, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol) and anthropometric measurements (body mass index (BMI), circumference of waist, buttocks and hips).

Results: The level of s-CRP did not deviate substantially from what has been reported for younger subjects. Higher values indicated an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and diabetes in women but not in men. The s-CRP level was associated with serum levels of urate, progesterone, folate, ApoA1, ApoB and the quotient ApoB/ApoA1 as well as with BMI and waist circumference.

Conclusions: For the 71-80 years age group, s-CRP below the 80th percentile (4.3 mg/l) seems to have prognostic capacity mainly in women. The highest association with mortality as well as with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis is found for s-CRP above 10 mg/l, which is the arbitrary lower level for the earlier routine low-sensitivity s-CRP methods. The association of s-CRP with serum urate, folate and the ApoB/ApoA1 quotient should be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morbidity*
  • Mortality*
  • Sex Characteristics


  • C-Reactive Protein