C-reactive protein, frailty and overnight hospital admission in elderly individuals: A population-based study

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. May-Jun 2016;64:1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2015.08.009. Epub 2015 Aug 11.


Background: C-reactive protein (CRP), an important inflammatory biomarker, has been linked to various diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease). Here, we aimed to investigate the associations of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) with frailty and overnight hospital admission in an elderly Chinese population.

Methods: We used cross-sectional data from 1478 participants (aged 70-84 years) who were randomly recruited from 31 villages in Jiang'an township, Rugao city, China. Frailty status was defined using a modified frailty phenotype. The number of overnight hospital admissions was ascertained.

Results: The sample mean age was 75.3 years, and 53.0% of participants were female (n=784). The mean level of hsCRP was 3.6 mg/L. From the low (hsCRP≤1.00 mg/L) to high hsCRP (hsCRP≥3.0mg/L) group, the proportion of overnight hospital admission increased linearly (8.7%, 10.6%, vs. 15.5%; P for trend=0.007). For frailty, the age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were 1.21 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.64) for participants in the intermediate hsCRP group and 1.49 (95% CI: 1.05, 2.09) for participants in the high hsCRP group compared with those in the low hsCRP group. For overnight hospital admission, the corresponding ORs were 1.26 (95% CI: 0.72, 2.19) and 1.94 (95% CI: 1.08, 3.48), respectively. After adjustment for other covariates, the significance of these associations remained.

Conclusions: Elevated levels of hsCRP were associated with increased risks of frailty and overnight hospital admission among elderly individuals in Rugao. More public health concerns about inflammation and subsequent outcomes are needed to improve the quality of life in elderly populations.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; Frail elderly; Geriatric assessment; Hospitals; Inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Inflammation / ethnology
  • Length of Stay*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein