C-reactive protein and alcohol consumption: Is there a U-shaped association? Results from a population-based study in Russia. The Arkhangelsk study

Atherosclerosis. 2006 Oct;188(2):309-15. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2005.11.007. Epub 2005 Dec 28.


Background: Little is known about association between markers of inflammation and alcohol consumption in Russian population where binge drinking pattern is prevalent.

Methods and results: C-reactive protein was measured by a highly sensitive particle-enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay (hsCRP) in 1963 men and 1734 women, aged 18-90 years, in a population-based cross-sectional study. Total alcohol consumption consisted mainly of binge vodka intake. A revealed U-shaped association between hsCRP and total alcohol intake was due to high hsCRP levels in ex-drinkers. Ex-drinkers of both sexes were older and reported more diseases than non-abstainers. This U-shaped association became non-significant in both sexes after adjustment for age, BMI, smoking status, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular medication. When analysis was performed separately only for non-abstainers, hsCRP showed a positive linear association with total weekly alcohol consumption and with weekly vodka consumption in both sexes.

Conclusions: The U-shaped association between hsCRP and weekly alcohol consumption was due to higher hsCRP levels in ex-drinkers than in non-abstainers. Factors other than the current level of alcohol consumption might be responsible for high hsCRP levels in ex-drinkers. When abstainers were excluded from analyses, the results indicated a pro-inflammatory effect of binge alcohol consumption in non-abstainers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephelometry and Turbidimetry
  • Russia / epidemiology
  • Smoking


  • C-Reactive Protein