C-Reactive Protein, the Metabolic Syndrome, and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Events
An 8-Year Follow-Up of 14 719 Initially Healthy American Women
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Background— The metabolic syndrome describes a high-risk population having 3 or more of the following clinical characteristics: upper-body obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL, hypertension, and abnormal glucose. All of these attributes, however, are associated with increased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).
Methods and Results— We evaluated interrelationships between CRP, the metabolic syndrome, and incident cardiovascular events among 14 719 apparently healthy women who were followed up for an 8-year period for myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, or cardiovascular death; 24% of the cohort had the metabolic syndrome at study entry. At baseline, median CRP levels for those with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 characteristics of the metabolic syndrome were 0.68, 1.09, 1.93, 3.01, 3.88, and 5.75 mg/L, respectively (Ptrend <0.0001). Over the 8-year follow-up, cardiovascular event-free survival rates based on CRP levels above or below 3.0 mg/L were similar to survival rates based on having 3 or more characteristics of the metabolic syndrome. At all levels of severity of the metabolic syndrome, however, CRP added prognostic information on subsequent risk. For example, among those with the metabolic syndrome at study entry, age-adjusted incidence rates of future cardiovascular events were 3.4 and 5.9 per 1000 person-years of exposure for those with baseline CRP levels less than or greater than 3.0 mg/L, respectively. Additive effects for CRP were also observed for those with 4 or 5 characteristics of the metabolic syndrome. The use of different definitions of the metabolic syndrome had minimal impact on these findings.
Conclusions— These prospective data suggest that measurement of CRP adds clinically important prognostic information to the metabolic syndrome.
Received December 2, 2002; revision received December 20, 2002; accepted December 20, 2002.