Association between C-reactive protein and risk of schizophrenia: An updated meta-analysis

Zhichao Wang, Ping Li, Dianyuan Chi, Tong Wu, Zubing Mei and Guangcheng Cui _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:75445-75454. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17995

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Zhichao Wang1, Ping Li2, Dianyuan Chi1, Tong Wu2, Zubing Mei3 and Guangcheng Cui2

1Academic Research Department, Qiqihar Medical University, Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, China

2Department of Psychiatry, Qiqihar Medical University, Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, China

3Department of Anorectal Surgery, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Guangcheng Cui, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Zubing Mei, email: [email protected]

Keywords: C-reactive protein, schizophrenia, risk, meta-analysis

Received: March 24, 2017     Accepted: May 06, 2017     Published: May 18, 2017


C-reactive protein (CRP) has been indicated to be associated with the pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SZ) and other psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study is to investigate whether peripheral blood CRP levels are associated with the risk of SZ. We searched literature from databases of Pubmed, Embase and the Cochrane Library from inception to November 1, 2016 for studies that reported serum or plasma CRP levels in patients with SZ and non-SZ controls. At least two reviewers decided on eligibility and extracted data from included studies. Random effects meta-analyses were performed using standardized mean difference (SMD) as the effect estimate of the differences in CRP levels between subjects with SZ and healthy controls. We identified 18 studies representing 1963 patients with SZ and 3683 non-SZ controls. Compared with non-schizophrenics, blood CRP levels were moderately increased in people with SZ (SMD 0.53, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.76) irrespective of study region, sample size of included studies, patient mean age, age of SZ onset and patient body mass index. Publication bias was not detected through Egger's linear regression test (P = 0.292). We noticed that patients in Asia or Africa (n = 6, SMD 0.73, 95% CI 0.26 to 1.21) and whose age less than 30 years (n = 5, SMD 0.76, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.58) had substantially higher CRP levels. Our study provides evidence that higher CRP levels are associated with increased risk of SZ, especially for young adult patients less than 30 years. Further large-scale studies are strongly warranted to further confirm this association.

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