High hsCRP is associated with reduced lung function in structural firefighters
Background To assess the association between markers of systemic inflammation and pulmonary function in a population of structural firefighters.
Methods We studied male career members of a large Midwestern fire department with questionnaires, spirometry, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) as a biomarker of systemic inflammation. We examined percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1%-predicted) and forced vital capacity (FVC%-predicted).
Results Complete data were available for 401 firefighters. Higher hsCRP levels were associated with lower lung function values, after adjusting for confounding variables. Specifically, for every twofold increase in log10-hsCRP, FEV1%-predicted decreased by a mean 1.5% (95% CI: 0.4, 2.6%) and FVC%-predicted decreased by a mean 1.4% (95% CI: 0.4, 2.3%).
Conclusion hsCRP as a biomarker of systemic inflammation may indicate reduced lung function in structural firefighters