The findings of a study published in BMJ Open suggest inflammatory marker levels can predict all-cause mortality.
The aim of this study was to examine one-year all-cause mortality in a cohort of primary care patients in whom inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and plasma viscosity (PV), had been tested.
The observational cohort study used GP Electronic Health Records from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, with linkage to Office for National Statistics (ONS) Death Registry.
A total of 159,325 patients with inflammatory marker tests carried out in 2014 were compared with 39,928 age-, sex- and practice-matched control participants without inflammatory marker testing. ONS Death registry data were available for 109,966 participants.
The findings revealed that participants with a raised inflammatory marker (n=47,797) had an overall one-year all-cause mortality of 6.89 per cent compared with 1.41 per cent in those with normal inflammatory markers (P<.001 and per cent in untested control participants.>
A raised CRP was associated with the highest mortality rate of 8.76 per cent compared with 4.99 per cent for ESR and 4.66 per cent for PV.
One-year mortality was higher in men with a raised inflammatory marker compared with women (9.78% vs 5.29%).
The C-statistic of a simple mortality prediction model containing age, sex and CRP test result is 0.89.
The authors concluded that inflammatory markers are a strong predictor of all-cause mortality in primary care patients.