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Inflammatory markers CRP and TNFalpha Predict All Cardiovascular Events

A new study in Thromb Haemost looked at the relationship between cardiovascular disease and the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Previous studies have shown an association between serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The researchers set out to determine if these two inflammation markers could predict the incidence of coronary heart disease as well as total mortality.

In the study, researchers examined a random population sample of men and women aged 25 - 64 years in Finland in 1992. The sample size included roughly 6,000 men and 4,500 women who were followed up until the end of 2001. During the follow-up, 151 incident coronary heart disease events, 205 cardiovascular disease events and 183 deaths from any cause were observed. After adjustment for conventional cardiovascular disease risk factors, CRP showed a significant association with coronary heart disease risk in men. The other inflammatory marker, TNFalpha, also was a significant predictor of coronary heart disease among men. Both CRP and TNFalpha predicted all cardiovascular events and total mortality among men.

According to the researchers, "These findings provide further support to the important role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of CVD."


Tuomisto, K., Jousilahti, P., Sundvall, J., Pajunen, P. and Salomaa, V. C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha as predictors of incident coronary and cardiovascular events and total mortality. A population-based, prospective study. Thromb Haemost. 2006; 95(3): 511-8.

Key concepts: inflammation, cardiovascular disease, c-reactive protein, CRP, TNFalpha