C-reactive protein is elevated in schizophrenia

Faith Dickerson, Cassie Stallings, Andrea Origoni, Crystal Vaughan, Sunil Khushalani, Shuojia Yang, Robert Yolken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Increased levels of inflammatory markers have been reported in schizophrenia, but few studies have examined levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), a non-specific inflammatory marker. Methods: Levels of high sensitivity CRP were measured in individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and non-psychiatric controls. Linear regression analyses were used to compare the CRP levels among the three groups adjusting for demographic and clinical variables. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the odds ratios associated with elevated levels of CRP, defined as >=75th and 90th percentile in the controls. Results: The sample consisted of 715 individuals: 295 with schizophrenia, 192 with bipolar disorder, and 228 without a psychiatric disorder. The levels of CRP in the schizophrenia group, but not in the bipolar disorder group, were significantly increased compared to controls adjusting for age, gender, race, maternal education, smoking status, and Body Mass Index (BMI) (t = 3.78, p = < .001). The individuals with schizophrenia had significantly increased odds of having elevated levels of CRP relative to both the 75th and 90th percentile levels of the controls adjusting for the same covariates (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.14, 2.82; p = .012; OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.58, 4.83, p = < .001). In the multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses, levels of CRP were also associated with BMI and female gender. Conclusions: Individuals with schizophrenia may be at risk for the adverse health consequences associated with elevated CRP in the overall population. Trials of interventions directed at lowering the level of CRP and other inflammatory markers are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-202
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Bipolar disorder
  • C-reactive protein
  • Inflammatory marker
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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