Association of high-sensitive C-reactive protein with advanced stage β-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. One laboratory marker for cardiovascular risk assessment is highsensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP).


This cross-sectional study attempted to analyze the association of hsCRP levels with insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction and macrovascular disease in 4270 non-insulin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes [2146 male, 2124 female; mean age ±SD, 63.9±11.1 years; body mass index (BMI) 30.1±5.5 kg/m2; disease duration 5.4±5.6 years; hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 6.8±1.3%]. It consisted of a single morning visit with collection of a fasting blood sample. Observational parameters included several clinical scores and laboratory biomarkers.


Stratification into cardiovascular risk groups according to hsCRP levels revealed that 934 patients had low risk (hsCRP <1 mg/L), 1369 patients had intermediate risk (hsCRP 1-3 mg/L), 1352 patients had high risk (hsCRP >3-10 mg/L), and 610 patients had unspecific hsCRP elevation (>10 mg/L). Increased hsCRP levels were associated with other indicators of diabetes-related cardiovascular risk (homeostatic model assessment, intact proinsulin, insulin, BMI, β-cell dysfunction, all p<0.001), but showed no correlation with disease duration or glucose control. The majority of the patients were treated with diet (34.1%; hsCRP levels 2.85±2.39 mg/L) or metformin monotherapy (21.1%; 2.95±2.50 mg/L hsCRP). The highest hsCRP levels were observed in patients treated with sulfonylurea (17.0%; 3.00±2.43 mg/L).


Our results indicate that hsCRP may be used as a cardiovascular risk marker in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and should be evaluated in further prospective studies.

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