Self-rated health is associated with elevated C-reactive protein even among apparently healthy individuals

Eran Leshem-Rubinow, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty, Assi Milwidsky*, Sharon Toker, Itzhak Shapira, Shlomo Berliner, Yael Benyamini, Samuel Melamed, Ori Rogowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A single self-rated health (SRH) assessment is associated with clinical outcome and mortality, but the biological process linking SRH with immune status remains incompletely understood. Objectives: To examine the association between SRH and inflammation in apparently healthy individuals. Methods: Our analysis included 13,773 apparently healthy individuals attending the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center for periodic health examinations. Estimated marginal means of the inflammation-sensitive biomarkers [i.e., highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and fibrinogen] for the different SRH groups were calculated and adjusted for multiple potential confounders including risk factors, health behavior, socioeconomic status, and coexistent depression. Results: The group with the lowest SRH had a significantly higher atherothrombotic profile and significantly higher concentrations of all inflammation-sensitive biomarkers in both genders. Hs-CRP was found to differ significantly between SRH groups in both genders even after gradual adjustments for all potential confounders. Fibrinogen differs significantly according to SRH in males only, with low absolute value differences. Conclusions: A valid association exists for apparently healthy individuals of both genders between inflammation-sensitive biomarker levels and SRH categories, especially when comparing levels of hs-CRP. Our findings underscore the importance of assessing SRH and treating it like other markers of poor health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Apparently healthy individuals
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Inflammation
  • Self-rated health (SRH)


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