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C-Reactive Protein Levels Associated With Cancer Risk

Higher levels also associated with early death after cancer diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with increased risk of cancer and earlier death after cancer diagnosis, according to a report published online March 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Kristine H. Allin, of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a study of 10,408 people by measuring their CRP levels at baseline and then following up the cohort for 16 years. During follow-up, 1,624 people in the cohort developed cancer, and 998 of these patients died.

Subjects with baseline CRP levels of 3 mg/L or above were 1.3 times more likely than those with CRP levels of less than 1 mg/L to develop any type of cancer, the investigators found. The odds were 2.2 times higher for lung cancer, and 1.9 times higher for colorectal cancer, the researchers report.

"Elevated levels of CRP in cancer-free individuals are associated with increased risk of cancer of any type, of lung cancer, and possibly of colorectal cancer," the authors write. "Elevated CRP levels were associated with early death in patients with cancer having localized disease, but not in those with metastases."

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