High-Sensitivity CRP (C-Reactive Protein) Is Associated with Incident Carotid Artery Plaque in Chinese Aged Adults

Renying Xu, Yanan Zhang, Xiang Gao, Yanping Wan, Zhuping Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose-CRP (C-reactive protein) is an inflammatory biomarker which predicts the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, whether CRP is associated with carotid artery plaque (CAP) remains unclear. Methods-The current retrospective study was performed in 8229 Chinese aged adults (aged 65-99 years; 4677 men and 3552 women). hs-CRP (high-sensitivity CRP) concentrations were measured at baseline (2013), and further classified into 3 groups: low risk (<1.0 mg/L), intermediate risk (1.0-3.0 mg/L), and high risk (≥3.0 mg/L). Ultrasound B-mode imaging was repeatedly performed annually to detect CAP during 5-year follow-up (2013-2018). Potential confounders, including body mass index, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, alanine transferase, aspartate transferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and uric acid, lipid profiles, were also collected at baseline. White blood cell was collected as well. We used a logistic regression model for the cross-sectional relation between CRP concentration and CAP status and proportional hazardous Cox model for prospective analyses. Results-Comparing to the low-risk group, the adjusted odds ratios for CAP was 1.66 (95% CI, 1.43-1.92) in the intermediate-risk group and 1.72 (95% CI, 1.39-2.13) in the high-risk group, after adjustment for potential confounders. We identified 512 incident CAP cases during 5-year follow-up. Each mg/L increase of hs-CRP was associated with a hazard ratio of 1.1 (95% CI, 1.03-1.17) to developing CAP. Sensitivity analysis generated similar results with prospective analyses after excluding participants with overweight and obesity, with elevated fasting blood glucose, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and white blood cell. The association lost significant when we excluded participants with elevated blood pressure, however, few cases of CAP (n=41) was recruited in participants with normal blood pressure during follow-up. Conclusions-High hs-CRP concentration was associated with the high risk of developing CAP in Chinese aged adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1655-1660
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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