CRP level and HDL cholesterol concentration jointly predict mortality in a Korean population

Kwang Il Kim, Se Won Oh, Soyeon Ahn, Nam Ju Heo, Sejoong Kim, Ho Jun Chin, Ki Young Na, Dong Wan Chae, Cheol Ho Kim, Suhnggwon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are well-known cardiovascular predictors. However, the joint effect of these parameters on long-term mortality has not been established. Methods: We studied a total of 92,500 subjects older than 20 years who underwent routine health examination at the three health care centers affiliated with Seoul National University. High-sensitivity CRP and the lipid profile were obtained at baseline. Subjects were followed for a median of 45.5 months. Mortality data were obtained from the National Statistics Office of Korea. Results: There were 649 deaths (0.7%) during the follow-up. The leading cause of death was cancer. The subjects who died were significantly older, had a male predominance, and had increased levels of inflammatory markers. A significant mortality difference was identified according to the CRP and HDL cholesterol levels. Considering both parameters jointly, subjects with a CRP <1.4 mg/L (highest quartile) and HDL cholesterol <45 mg/dL (lowest quartile) were at the highest risk for all-cause mortality, even after adjusting for covariates (hazard ratio 2.29, 95% confidence interval, 1.83∼2.87). After matching on the propensity score, 6304 subjects with a high CRP and low HDL cholesterol were at high risk of death (hazard ratio 2.52, 95% confidence interval, 1.59∼4.01). Interestingly, the joint effect of CRP and HDL cholesterol was observed for cardiovascular as well as cancer-related mortality prediction. Conclusions: Elevated CRP and low HDL cholesterol jointly contribute to the prediction of all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality in Koreans. The interactive relationship between them in mediating inflammatory processes might explain these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-795.e4
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • C-reactive protein
  • HDL cholesterol
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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