Associations of high sensitivity C-reactive protein levels in schizophrenia and comparison groups

Schizophr Res. 2015 Oct;168(1-2):456-60. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2015.08.019. Epub 2015 Sep 2.


Schizophrenia is characterized by physical (mainly metabolic and cardiovascular) comorbidity and shortened lifespan. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), an inflammatory marker of hepatic origin linked to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and mortality in the general population, has been reported to be elevated in people with schizophrenia. However, the relationship of hs-CRP to psychiatric and medical risk factors, after controlling for potentially confounding variables such as smoking, is not well established in schizophrenia. We assessed hs-CRP levels along with various demographic, psychiatric, and metabolic measures in 88 clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 71 age epoch-matched comparison subjects with no history of a major psychiatric illness. hs-CRP levels were significantly higher in individuals with schizophrenia than in comparison subjects. Higher hs-CRP levels in the schizophrenia group were associated with female gender, more severe negative symptoms, greater medical comorbidity, and worse metabolic risk factors including BMI, fasting glucose, and hemoglobin A1c levels. hs-CRP was not related to age, race, education, smoking status, antipsychotic dosage, or cognitive impairment. Longitudinal studies are needed to investigate the relationship between hs-CRP and long-term health outcomes including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in schizophrenia.

Keywords: Aging; Body mass index; Inflammation; Metabolic disorders; Schizophrenia; hs-CRP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / blood
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Psychotic Disorders / blood*
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / blood*
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein