Slightly Elevated High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) Concentrations Are Associated With Carotid Atherosclerosis in Women With Varying Degrees of Glucose Tolerance

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We examined whether high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) ≥2.0 mg/L was associated with increased intima-media thickness (IMT), plaque burden, and plaque echolucency in carotid arteries. Women (n = 635) from a population sample of 64-year-old females with varying degrees of glucose tolerance underwent risk factor assessment, measurement of hsCRP, and ultrasound examinations of the carotid arteries. Participants with hsCRP levels ≥2.0 mg/L had elevated carotid bulb IMT independently of other cardiovascular risk factors compared with those with hsCRP <2.0 mg/L. The participants with plaques in the highhsCRP group had larger total plaque area compared to those with plaque in the lower hsCRP group. Plaque echolucency did not differ between groups. High-sensitivity CRP levels ≥2.0 mg/L were accompanied by elevated IMT in the carotid bulbs independently of other cardiovascular risk factors. Total plaque area was larger among women with plaques in the high hsCRP group versus the lower hsCRP group.

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