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Longitudinal association of C-reactive protein and Haemoglobin A1c over 13 years: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer - Norfolk study



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Ahmadi-Abhari, Sara 
Kaptoge, Stephen 
Luben, Robert N 
Wareham, Nicholas J 
Khaw, Kay-Tee 



            Type-2 diabetes is associated with systemic inflammation and higher C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. However, the longitudinal association of CRP and haemoglobin-A1c (HbA1c) has not been described in large prospective studies. Understanding such associations may shed light on the role of inflammation in development of type-2 diabetes and its complications such as cardiovascular diseases.
            EPIC-Norfolk is a cohort study of men and women aged 40–79 years at time of recruitment (1993–1997). Serum CRP (mg/l) was measured using a high-sensitivity assay at baseline and 13-years follow-up. HbA1c (%) was measured at baseline, 4, and 13 years. Participants were excluded if they were diagnosed with diabetes or were taking diabetes medication. Data on at least one measurement of CRP and HbA1c was available for 14228 participants (55 % of the cohort).
            In the cross-sectional analysis of baseline data, a 1-SD higher loge-CRP (about three-fold higher CRP) was associated with 0.06 (95 % CI 0.04, 0.08) higher HbA1c (%) adjusted for potential confounders. In longitudinal analysis using multivariable linear mixed models, change in CRP over 13 years was to a similar extent positively associated with increase in HbA1c, such that 1-SD higher longitudinal change in loge-CRP was associated with 0.04 (95 % CI 0.02, 0.05) increase in HbA1c.
            In this study we found longitudinal observational evidence suggesting that increase in systemic inflammation is associated with an increase in HbA1c and thus systemic inflammation may have a role in development of type-2 diabetes and its complications.



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