VANCOUVER, B.C.—High circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) independently predict an increased risk of cardiovascular and overall mortality in dialysis patients, data suggest.

Brazilian investigators prospectively studied 146 dialysis patients whom they divided into two groups: those with high CRP (3 mg/L or higher; 51 patients) and those with low CRP (below 3 mg/mL; 95 patients). The two groups did not differ significantly by gender, comorbidities, and smoking, but the high CRP group had a higher mean age and a greater percentage of deaths from cardiovascular causes.

After adjusting for demographic, clinical, and cardiovascular factors, patients with high CRP had a 6.6 times increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes compared with patients with low CRP. High CRP was the only independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality. Both high CRP and age were independent predictors of overall mortality, however. Subjects with high CRP had a fivefold increased risk of overall mortality compared with patients who had low CRP. Moreover, each one-year increment in age was associated with a 5% increase in overall mortality risk.

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