Objectives: C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory biomarker, has been widely used as a preclinical marker predictive of morbidity and mortality. Although many studies have reported a positive association between CRP and mortality, uncertainty still remains about this association in various populations, especially in rural Korea. Methods: A total of 23 233 middle-aged participants (8862 men and 14 371 women) who were free from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and acute inflammation (defined by a CRP level =10 mg/L) were drawn from 11 rural communities in Korea between 2005 and 2011. Blood CRP concentration was analyzed as a categorical variable (low: 0.0-0.9 mg/L; intermediate: 1.0-3.0 mg/L; high: 3.1-9.9 mg/L) as well as a continuous variable. Each participant's vital status through December 2013 was confirmed by death statistics from the National Statistical Office. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the independent association between CRP and mortality after adjusting for other risk factors. Results: The total quantity of observed person-years was 57 975 for men and 95 146 for women, and the number of deaths was 649 among men and 367 among women. Compared to the low-CRP group, the adjusted hazard ratio for all-cause mortality of the intermediate group was 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98 to 1.40) for men and 1.27 (95% CI, 1.01 to 1.61) for women, and the corresponding values for the high-CRP group were 1.98 (95% CI, 1.61 to 2.42) for men and 1.41 (95% CI, 1.03 to 1.95) for women. Similar trends were found for CRP evaluated as a continuous variable and for cardiovascular mortality. Conclusions: Higher CRP concentrations were associated with higher mortality in a rural Korean population, and this association was more prominent in men than in women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health