Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) blood level is associated with clinical outcomes of several diseases. However, the independent predictive role of CRP in the heterogeneous population of patients admitted to internal medicine wards is not known.
Objectives: To determine whether single CRP levels at admission independently predicts clinical outcome and flow of patients in general medicine wards.
Methods: This study comprised 275 patients (50.5% female) with a mean age of 68.25 ± 17.0 years, hospitalized with acute disease in a general internal medicine ward. The association between admission CRP levels and clinical outcomes including mortality, the need for mechanical ventilation, duration of hospitalization, and re-admission within 6 months was determined.
Results: A significant association was found between CRP increments of 80 mg/L and risk for the major clinical outcomes measured. The mortality odds ratio (OR) was 1.89 (95% confidence interval (95%CI, 1.37–2.61, P < 0.001), mechanical ventilation OR 1.67 (95%CI, 1.10–2.34, P = 0.006), re-admission within 6 months OR 2.29 (95%CI, 1.66–3.15 P < 0.001), and prolonged hospitalization >7 days OR 2.09 (95%CI, 1.59–2.74, P < 0.001). Lower increments of10 mg/L in CRP levels were associated with these outcomes although with lower ORs. Using a stepwise regression model for admission CRP levels resulted in area under the receiver operating characteristics curves between 0.70 and 0.76 for these outcomes.
Conclusions: A single admission CRP blood level is independently associated with major parameters of clinical outcomes in acute care patients hospitalized in internal medicine wards.