C-reactive protein distribution and correlation with traditional cardiovascular risk factors in the Italian population

Eur J Intern Med. 2013 Mar;24(2):161-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2012.09.010. Epub 2012 Oct 4.


Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) increases during an inflammatory response; its plasma levels are believed to be an independent predictor of future atherosclerotic disease. We report the distribution of plasma levels of CRP and its possible relationship with other cardiovascular risk factors in an Italian cohort.

Methods: CRP was assessed in frozen plasma samples of 1949 participants in the CHECK study (2001-2005), which collected clinical and biochemical data from randomly selected subjects (40-79 years) in the setting of Italian general practice.

Results: Median CRP (interquartile range) was higher in women (1.42 [0.58-2.86] vs 1.28 [0.58-2.50]; p=.163), in people aged ≥ 65 years (1.74 [0.89-3.34] vs 1.11 [0.52-2.45]; p<.001), in patients with obesity (2.37 [1.27-4.15] vs 1.16 [0.52-2.41]; p<.001), metabolic syndrome (2.12 [1.16-3.72] vs 1.10 [0.50-2.38]; p<.001), or higher cardiovascular risk (2.03 [1.01-3.42] vs 1.19 [0.53-2.50]; p<.001). Stepwise regression analysis showed significant associations (R(2)=.264) of circulating log(e)CRP with body mass index, fibrinogen, apoB, age, gender, smoking habits, physical inactivity, creatinine levels, and systolic blood pressure.

Conclusion: This study provides epidemiological data of CRP in the Italian population and reinforces the existing evidences about the close correlation between CRP and markers of inflammation and adiposity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein