C-reactive protein: Associations with haematological variables, cardiovascular risk factors and prevalent cardiovascular disease

Mark Woodward, Ann Rumley, Gordon D O Lowe, Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


C-reactive protein (CRP) has been proposed as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease; however, this association is confounded by mutual relationships with both classical and haematological cardiovascular risk factors. We, therefore, measured CRP with a high-sensitivity assay in stored plasma samples from 414 men and 515 women in the north Glasgow MONICA (MONItoring trends in CArdiovascular diseases) survey, to study its correlation with haematological variables, classical risk factors and prevalent cardiovascular disease. CRP correlated with age, oral contraceptive use, menopause and most classical cardiovascular risk factors (except blood pressure). CRP also correlated with plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6, and haematocrit, viscosity, red cell aggregation, white cell count, and coagulation factors [fibrinogen, factor (F) VII in women, FVIII, FIX] and inhibitors (antithrombin and protein C in women; protein S) but not coagulation activation markers. CRP was significantly associated with prevalent cardiovascular disease in both men (P = 0.03) and women (P = 0.009), however, the association became non-significant after adjustment for firstly classical risk factors, then fibrinogen. We conclude that correlations with classical and haematological risk factors account for a substantial component of the association of CRP with prevalent cardiovascular disease, but there is evidence of a residual, independent effect among women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • C-reactive protein
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Fibrinogen
  • Inflammation
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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