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C reactive protein level as a marker for dyslipidaemia, diabetes and metabolic syndrome: results from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  1. Hyemin Jeong1,
  2. Sun-Young Baek2,
  3. Seon Woo Kim2,
  4. Eun-Jung Park3,
  5. Jaejoon Lee4,
  6. Hyungjin Kim4,
  7. Chan Hong Jeon1
  1. 1 Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Hospital Bucheon, Bucheon, South Korea
  2. 2 Statistics and Data Center, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea
  3. 3 Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea
  4. 4 Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
  1. Correspondence to Chan Hong Jeon; chjeon{at}; Hyungjin Kim; passiondoc{at}


Objective Plasma C reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation, and increased plasma CRP is reported in many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arthritis and malignancies. The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between plasma CRP levels and cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, malignancies and other comorbidities.

Design A retrospective, cross-sectional survey study.

Setting Large population survey in Korea.

Methods A total of 5887 (weighted n=40 251 868) participants aged 19 years or older from the 2016 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were included for analysis. Weighted prevalence and OR of comorbidities were analysed according to the continuous variable of log plasma high-sensitivity CRP levels.

Results The mean age was 46.7±0.37 years and the median plasma CRP was 0.58 mg/L (IQR 0.36–1.09). The mean plasma CRP levels were higher in participants with cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular risk factors, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, pulmonary tuberculosis, and several cancers, including gastric, colon, breast and cervix, than in the general population. In the multivariable analysis, plasma CRP concentration was associated with increased prevalence of hypertriglyceridaemia (OR 1.157, 95% CI 1.040 to 1.287, p=0.007), diabetes (OR 1.204, 95% CI 1.058 to 1.371, p=0.005) and metabolic syndrome (OR 1.228, 95% CI 1.112 to 1.357, p<0.001) after adjustment for socioeconomic and lifestyle characteristics. There was no significant association between plasma CRP level and cancers.

Conclusion Plasma CRP was associated with an increased risk of dyslipidaemia, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in the general population.

  • c reactive protein
  • dyslipidaemia
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome

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  • HK and CHJ contributed equally.

  • Contributors HJ designed this study, contributed to data collection, performed statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. S-YB and SWK collected the data, performed statistical analyses and contributed to the interpretation of data. E-JP and JL were responsible for the conceptual development of the research and contributed to the interpretation of statistical results. HK and CHJ designed this study and critically reviewed the data. All authors have critically revised the manuscript and approved the final version for publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital. Written informed consent was obtained from participants before completing the survey.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository.