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The predictive role of C-reactive protein in patients with hypertension and subclinical atherosclerosis

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Abstract Background:

Recent guidelines published by the joint European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology have suggested the inclusion of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the standard assessment of cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients, but few data are available on the role of CRP in patients with carotid lesions. Methods:

We studied 472 patients, 236 with and 236 without hypertension, sex- and age-matched, with and without early stages of atherosclerosis (e.g. those with an asymptomatic intima–media thickness of >0.9 mm), the influence of all the other traditional cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. older age, male sex, obesity, diabetes, smoking habit, family history of coronary artery disease, dyslipidaemia) and of high-sensitivity CRP levels on cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events in a 5-year follow up. Results:

At the end of follow up, patients with hypertension had more events than those without (25% vs 17%, P < 0.05). Proportional hazard analysis revealed in the group of patients without hypertension the presence of baseline carotid lesions (P= 0.02) as predictor of events. In patients with hypertension, the presence of baseline carotid lesions (P= 0.04) and elevated CRP levels (P= 0.02) predicted clinical events. Patients with hypertension also showed a significant relationship between clinical events and quintiles of CRP levels (P < 0.01). Conclusion:

Beyond the utility of high-sensitivity CRP levels in the prediction of early and late stages of atherosclerosis and subsequently on its association with clinical events, the therapeutic implications of these results remain to be evaluated by further studies.
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Keywords: C-reactive protein; atherosclerosis; event; hypertension; inflammation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Clinical Medicine and Emerging Diseases, 2: School of Cardiology and Master of Vascular Diseases, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular and Nephro-Urological Diseases, University Hospital ‘P. Giaccone’ of the University of Palermo, Palermo and 3: Salvatore Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Veruno Scientific Institute, Veruno, Italy

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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