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Serum C reactive protein levels and genetic variation in the CRP gene are not associated with the prevalence, incidence or progression of osteoarthritis independent of body mass index
  1. Hanneke J M Kerkhof1,2,
  2. Sita M A Bierma-Zeinstra3,
  3. Martha C Castano-Betancourt1,
  4. Moniek P de Maat4,
  5. Albert Hofman2,5,
  6. Huib A P Pols1,
  7. Fernando Rivadeneira1,2,
  8. Jacqueline C Witteman5,
  9. André G Uitterlinden1,2,5,
  10. Joyce B J van Meurs1,2
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2The Netherlands Genomics Initiative-sponsored Netherlands Consortium for Healthy Aging (NGI-NCHA), Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of General Practice, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Hematology, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joyce B J van Meurs, Genetic Laboratory, Department of Internal Medicine, Room Ee579, Erasmus Medical Center, MC PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands; j.vanmeurs{at}erasmusmc.nl

Abstract

Objective To study the relationship between serum C reactive protein (CRP) levels, genetic variation in the CRP gene and the prevalence, incidence and progression of radiographic osteoarthritis (ROA) in the Rotterdam Study-I (RS-I). A systematic review of studies assessing the relationship between osteoarthritis (OA) and CRP levels was also performed.

Methods The association between CRP levels and genetic variation in the CRP gene and ROA was examined in 861 patients with hand OA, 718 with knee OA, 349 with hip OA and 2806 controls in the RS-I using one-way analysis of covariance and logistic regression, respectively. PubMed was searched for articles published between January 1992 and August 2009 assessing the relationship between CRP levels and OA.

Results In RS-I the prevalence of knee OA, but not hip OA or hand OA, was associated with 14% higher serum CRP levels compared with controls (p=0.001). This association disappeared after adjustment for age and especially body mass index (BMI) (p=0.33). Genetic variation of the CRP gene was not consistently associated with the prevalence, incidence or progression of OA within RS-I. The systematic review included 18 studies (including RS-I) on serum CRP levels and the prevalence, incidence or progression of OA. Consistently higher crude CRP levels were found in cases of prevalent knee OA compared with controls. No association was observed between serum CRP levels and the prevalence of knee OA following adjustment for BMI (n=3 studies, meta-analysis p value=0.61).

Conclusion There is no evidence of association between serum CRP levels or genetic variation in the CRP gene with the prevalence, incidence or progression of OA independent of BMI.

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Footnotes

  • Funding This project was funded by European Commission framework 7 programme grant 200800 TREAT-OA and the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI)/Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) project nr. 050-060-810.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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

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