C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptomology in urban police officers

Cytokine. 2011 Jul;55(1):74-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2011.03.025. Epub 2011 Apr 13.


Our aim was to examine the relationship between the level of the inflammatory markers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology in a random sample of 115 police officers. CRP was measured in citrated plasma using a particle enhanced immunonepholometric assay and IL-6 was measured in serum with a solid-phase quantitative sandwich ELISA. The presence of high PTSD symptomology was defined as having an Impact of Event Scale score (IES) of ≥ 26 compared to<26 (low PTSD symptomology). 28% of the officers had high PTSD symptomology. Mean levels of CRP and IL-6 did not differ significantly between officers with high PTSD symptomology and those with low symptomology (CRP: 0.76 mg/l vs. 0.97 mg/l; IL-6: 2.03 pg/ml vs. 1.74 pg/ml). We found no association of CRP and IL-6 levels with PTSD symptomology. This study was limited by sample size and its cross-sectional study design. A lack of association may occur if either CRP or IL-6 is elevated only at the onset of PTSD symptomology, or if inflammation is related to specific key components that define PTSD. Further research examining these relationships in a larger population may be worthwhile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cities*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Male
  • New York
  • Police*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / blood*


  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein