Elevated CRP, CRP-to-albumin ratio a red flag for pneumonia
High C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration levels and CRP-to-albumin ratio in middle-aged and older men can signal an increased risk of pneumonia, as reported in a study.
The study used data from the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease study and included 2,489 men aged 42–61 years. All participants provided blood samples at baseline, and these samples were analysed for CRP and albumin levels.
A total of 598 incident cases of pneumonia occurred over a median follow up of 26.1 years. CRP and CRP-to-albumin ratio showed an independent association with the incidence of pneumonia.
Specifically, the risk of pneumonia was 62-percent higher among patients in the top vs bottom tertile of CRP-to-albumin ratio (hazard ratio [HR], 1.62, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.31–2.00). Meanwhile, the top vs bottom tertile of serum CRP was associated with a 67-percent risk increase (HR, 1.67, 95 percent CI, 1.34–2.07).
There was no evidence of an association between serum albumin and the risk of pneumonia.
Researchers used Cox regression to examine the risk of pneumonia in relation to serum CRP, serum albumin, and CRP-to-albumin ratio. They included factors such as age, body mass index, smoking status, history of type 2 diabetes, prevalent coronary heart disease, history of asthma, history of chronic bronchitis, history of tuberculosis, alcohol consumption, socioeconomic status, leisure-time physical activity, and total energy intake in the analysis as potential confounders.
Additional investigation is needed to validate the present findings in other populations and assess the potential value of CAR in the prevention and management of pneumonia.