Complement C3 and C-Reactive Protein Are Elevated in South Asians Independent of a Family History of Stroke

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Background and Purpose—

Complement components are emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In this study, we examined the relation among C3, C-reactive protein (CRP), factor B, and features of the insulin resistance (IR) syndrome in 143 first-degree relatives of South Asian subjects with ischemic stroke, 141 South Asian controls, and 121 white controls.


C3, CRP (high-sensitivity assay), and factor B levels were measured by ELISAs, and their relation to features of the IR syndrome were assessed. Data are presented as geometric mean (95% CI).


There was no significant difference in the levels of C3 between South Asian relatives (1.25 [1.21, 1.29] g/L) and South Asian controls (1.20 [1.15, 1.24] g/L, P=0.2). Levels in both South Asian groups were significantly higher than in white controls (0.95 [0.92, 0.98] g/L; P<0.001 for both comparisons). These differences remained significant after adjustment for covariates. Similarly, levels of CRP were not different between the 2 South Asian groups, but levels in both South Asian groups, after adjustment for covariates, were significantly higher than in white controls. There was no difference in the levels of factor B among the 3 groups. South Asian subjects with elevated C3 levels clustered risk factors associated with IR to a greater extent than those with high CRP.


These results suggest that South Asians have a greater level of chronic subclinical inflammation than do whites, independent of a family history of stroke. In addition, C3 is more likely to cluster with features of the IR syndrome compared with CRP in South Asians.

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