C-reactive protein and coronary heart disease: a critical review

J Intern Med. 2008 Oct;264(4):295-314. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02015.x.


Modestly elevated baseline concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), the classical acute phase protein, are associated with the long-term risk of coronary heart disease in general populations, whilst the major acute phase response of CRP following myocardial infarction is associated with death and cardiac complications. The pathogenic and clinical significance of these associations is controversial. Here we critically review the evidence and describe large-scale epidemiological studies, novel experiments and possible specific therapies which will rigorously inform the debate. We distinguish between the potential pathogenicity of high acute phase circulating CRP concentrations in individuals with substantial tissue damage and modest but persistent increases in baseline values in generally healthy subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • C-Reactive Protein / chemistry
  • C-Reactive Protein / genetics
  • Coronary Disease / genetics
  • Coronary Disease / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / immunology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk
  • Time


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein