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13-10-2011 | Mental health | Article

CRP predicts heart disease in schizophrenia patients


Free abstract

MedWire News: Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in patients with schizophrenia are associated with a high 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), research shows.

Past studies have shown that schizophrenia is associated with significant comorbidity, including an increased risk for the metabolic syndrome, which in turn is a risk factor for CVD, explain the researchers.

Antoni Sicras-Mainar (Badalona Serveis Assistencials, Barcelona, Spain) and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of administrative claims in 705 individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The team used the Framingham function to determine 10-year risk for fatal or nonfatal CVD, and collated the results with patient levels of CRP, an inflammatory marker associated with diabetes, hypertension, and CVD in the general population.

In the present study, the mean 10-year risk for CVD was 11.9%.The mean CRP level was 2.6 mg/l, and approximately one-third of participants had higher than normal CRP levels (>3.0 mg/l).

Patients with CVD had mean CRP levels of 3.7 mg/l and were 4.7 times more likely than those without CVD to have above-normal values.

After adjusting for multiple cofounders, CRP levels were linearly associated with the 10-year risk for CVD. For patients with a low (<10%), moderate (10-20%), and high-risk (>20%) for CVD, mean CRP levels were 2.3, 3.1, and 3.7 mg/l, respectively.

"The findings of this study support the general hypothesis of CRP also being involved or playing an independent role in risk or the development of CVD in schizophrenics," conclude Sicras-Mainar and colleagues.

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