Marker Predicts Heart Disease in People with Schizophrenia

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Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in patients with schizophreniaare associated with a higher 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease, new research suggests.

Past studies have shown that schizophrenia is associated with significant coexisting health concerns. This includes an increased risk for the metabolic syndrome — which is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (also known as heart disease).

Antoni Sicras-Mainar from Badalona Serveis Assistencials in Spain and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of administrative claims in 705 individuals who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The team used a formula devised by the Framingham Heart Study researchers to determine 10-year risk for fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease. The researchers then collated the results with patient levels of CRP, an inflammatory marker associated with diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in the general population.

In the present study, the average 10-year risk for heart disease was nearly 12 percent. The average CRP level was 2.6 mg/l.

Patients with heart disease were nearly 5 times more likely than those without heart disease to have above-normal values (patients with heart disease had mean CRP levels of 3.7 mg/l).

After adjusting for multiple cofounds, CRP levels were linearly associated with the 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease — the greater the CRP levels, the greater the risk for heart disease.

“The findings of this study support the general hypothesis of CRP also being involved or playing an independent role in risk or the development of cardiovascular disease in schizophrenics,” concluded Sicras-Mainar.

The study is slated to appear in the journal European Psychiatry.

By Psych Central News Editor

Psych Central

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