Background: Increased concentrations of high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This increase might be caused by low-grade inflammation, but a number of studies have suggested that serum CRP concentrations are under genetic control. Since the relation between CRP concentration and cardiovascular diseases occurs across ethnicities, we determined whether CRP gene variants affect fasting hs-CRP concentrations in a cohort of Chinese men.
Methods: High-sensitivity CRP concentrations were measured in 369 Chinese men. Six polymorphisms were identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and direct sequencing within the CRP gene: 969T>C, 1009A>G, and a 3-allele polymorphism 1440C>A>T in the 5' UTR (promoter region), 2667G>C in exon 2, and 3872A>G and 5992T>A in the 3' UTR.
Results: In a group of participants (n=328) whose fasting serum hs-CRP concentrations were within the 5th to 95th percentile, we found that the genetic polymorphism 1009A>G was significantly associated with fasting serum hs-CRP concentrations (GG vs. AG or AA genotypes, CRP concentrations 0.072+/-0.062 vs. 0.176+/-0.166 and 0.166+/-0.185 mg/dl, mean+/-S.D., both P=0.023). Furthermore, subjects carrying the 1009G bearing haplotype exhibited the lowest CRP concentrations (P=0.05).
Conclusion: The CRP 1009A>G genotypes and associated haplotypes were associated with lower fasting serum hs-CRP concentrations in a group of elderly Chinese men.