Circadian rhythm of C-reactive protein in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Prog Clin Biol Res. 1987;227B:271-9.


Ten men with classic rheumatoid arthritis were studied for 23 days in Badgastein, Austria, in August, 1980. One man (patient 07) showed a marked increase of disease activity after a few days. C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations increased from 8.7 mg/dl on day 2 to 13.0 mg/dl on day 16. CRP values expressed as percent mean of a day showed a significant circadian rhythm with the acrophase at -30 degrees. For the same patient we also found significant circadian rhythms in grip strength and pearl stringing with acrophases in the evening and a circadian rhythm in walking time with the acrophase in the early morning. Seven of the ten men in the study had elevated CRP concentrations during the 3 weeks of observation. Population-mean cosinor results of CRP, grip strength, pearl stringing, and walking time revealed acrophases similar to the single cosinor results of patient 07. Our results suggest that inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis is a circadian rhythmic process with lowest disease activity in the evening.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • C-Reactive Protein