C-Reactive Protein Levels Vary by Ethnicity

Varying CRP levels may affect statin eligibility, complicate cardiovascular risk assessment
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Mean C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations vary for different ethnic populations, which may affect assessment of cardiovascular risk and eligibility for statin treatment, according to a meta-analysis published online Sept. 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

Tina Shah, Ph.D., of the University College London, and colleagues reviewed 89 studies involving 221,287 healthy subjects to assess the differences in CRP concentrations for people of diverse ancestries, including African-Americans, Hispanics, South Asians, East Asians, and Caucasians. The researchers adjusted concentrations for age and body mass index (BMI) and compared them to the CRP concentration threshold considered necessary to be eligible for treatment with rosuvastatin (greater than 2 mg/L).

The researchers found mean CRP concentrations to be 2.6 mg/L in African-Americans, 2.51 mg/L in Hispanics, 2.34 mg/L in South Asians, 2.03 mg/L in Caucasians, and 1.01 mg/L in East Asians; the differences were not found to be due to inconsistencies in CRP assay or study design. At 60 years of age, fewer than half of East Asians but more than two-thirds of Hispanics had CRP concentrations above the statin treatment threshold. The researchers write that BMI, systolic blood pressure, and smoking contributed to some differences between groups in one study, but most of the differences were unexplained. They concluded that the variability in CRP among groups could have an impact on statin eligibility.

"The difference in average population CRP values in populations of different ancestry are sufficiently large as to have bearing on clinical management and statin eligibility based on single CRP cut-point values," Shah said in a statement.

One study author is employed by GlaxoSmithKline; another author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

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