The prevalence and predictors of elevated C-reactive protein after a coronary heart disease event

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Abstract

Objective

An interleukin-beta antagonist reduces the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events in coronary patients with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) ≥2 mg/L. It remains to be defined how large the coronary population at inflammatory risk is, and what the predictors of elevated risk are.

Methods

A cross-sectional study investigated the proportion of patients with elevated hs-CRP (i.e. ≥2 mg/L) and the respective demographic and clinical predictors in 971 patients without concomitant inflammatory diseases who had been hospitalized with myocardial infarction (80%) and/or a revascularization procedure. Data were collected from hospital records, a self-report questionnaire and a clinical examination with blood samples.

Results

After 2–36 month follow-up, 39% (n = 378) had hs-CRP ≥ 2 mg/L, among whom 64% (n = 243) had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) ≥1.8 mmol/L and 47% (n = 176) used a low-intensity statin regime. Only 24% had both LDL and hs-CRP at target range, 27% had elevation of both, whereas 12% had hs-CRP ≥ 2 mg/L and LDL-C < 1.8 mmol/L. Somatic comorbidity (odds ratio (OR) 1.3/1.0 point on the Charlson score), ≥1 previous coronary event (OR 2.4), smoking (OR 2.2), higher body mass index (OR 1.2/1.0 kg/m2), high LDL-C (OR 1.4/1.0 mmol/L) and higher anxiety scores (OR 1.1/1.0 point increase on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety subscale score) were significantly associated with hs-CRP ≥2 mg/L in adjusted analyses.

Conclusions

Elevated hs-CRP was frequently observed after a coronary event and associated with unfavourable LDL-C and unhealthy lifestyles and psychosocial distress. Intensified statin therapy and strategies to target these modifiable factors are the encouraged first steps to reduce inflammation and improve LDL-C in these patients.

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