High-sensitivity CRP reflects insulin resistance in smokers

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2009 Oct;16(5):560-7. doi: 10.5551/jat.869. Epub 2009 Sep 14.


Aim: The elevation of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a strong risk factor for cardio-vascular disease (CVD) and is associated with insulin resistance. The hs-CRP concentration also increases in smokers known to be at a high risk for CVD. We examined whether hs-CRP concentra-tion reflects insulin resistance in smokers.

Methods: The hs-CRP levels were measured in 121 male subjects (54 nonsmokers and 67 smokers) with a normal glucose tolerance. The hs-CRP concentration was compared to the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and other clinical variables related to insulin resistance.

Results: Smokers had a 64.5% higher hs-CRP concentration than nonsmokers (p<0.0001). In both nonsmokers and smokers, hs-CRP positively correlated with HOMA-IR (r=0.301, p<0.05 and r=0.312, p<0.01) and fasting insulin (r=0.281, p<0.05 and r=0.356, p<0.01). The correlation between hs-CRP and HOMA-IR or fasting insulin was stronger in smokers than in nonsmokers. In smokers, hs-CRP significantly correlated with BMI and HDL-cholesterol (r=0.386, p<0.01 and r=-0.307, p<0.05). Stepwise regression analysis revealed that BMI and HOMA-IR were significant predictors of hs-CRP in smokers (r=0.423, p<0.01).

Conclusions: The hs-CRP concentration reflects insulin resistance in smokers. It would be preferable to consider insulin resistance in evaluating hs-CRP concentrations, even in smokers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Limit of Detection
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / physiopathology*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Insulin
  • C-Reactive Protein