The acute-phase reactant C-reactive protein (CRP) increases rapidly during an infection. We tested the hypothesis that chronic low-level increases in CRP are associated with an increased risk of infectious disease.
Individuals with CRP >3 mg/L had 1.2 and 1.7 times increased risk of infectious disease, in the prospective general population cohort and the cross-sectional general population study, respectively, compared with individuals with CRP <1 mg/L. In the combined populations, individuals in the highest CRP tertile (compared with the lowest) had an increased risk of bacterial diseases (hazard ratio 1.7, 95% CI 1.6–1.8), but not viral, mycosis, and parasitic diseases. The increased risk was mainly carried by pneumonia, sepsis, and particularly gram-negative infections. None of the genotype combinations examined conferred an increased risk of infectious disease.
Chronic low-level CRP increases were associated with increased risk of bacterial infections, gram-negative infections in particular. Genotypes associated with increases in CRP were not associated with increased risk of infection.
Increased Baseline C-Reactive Protein Concentrations Are Associated with Increased Risk of Infections: Results from 2 Large Danish Population Cohorts
Source: Clinical Chemistry