Your browser has javascript turned off or blocked. This will lead to some parts of our website to not work properly or at all. Turn on javascript for best performance.

The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Default user image.

Olle Melander

Principal investigator

Default user image.

Plasma procalcitonin and the risk of cardiovascular events and death: a prospective population-based study.


  • Alexandru Schiopu
  • Bo Hedblad
  • Gunnar Engström
  • Joachim Struck
  • Nils G Morgenthaler
  • Olle Melander

Summary, in English

Objectives: A number of inflammatory biomarkers such as C reactive protein (CRP) are independent predictors of cardiovascular risk. The inflammatory biomarker procalcitonin (PCT) has previously been shown to be associated with coronary atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome. We evaluated the ability of PCT to predict future cardiovascular events in a population of apparently healthy individuals.

Design: We measured plasma PCT levels in 3713 subjects with no previous history of cardiovascular disease, randomly selected from the Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort. The correlation between PCT concentration and the incidence of coronary events, stroke and cardiovascular death over a median follow-up period of 13.7 years was studied using a Cox regression analysis corrected for age, sex, CRP level, traditional risk factors and renal function.

Results: Age and sex were strong determinants of PCT; the concentration of PCT was significantly higher in men than in women. PCT was associated with several of the established cardiovascular risk factors (CRP, hypertension, diabetes and renal function,) as determined by multivariate linear regression. Of note, PCT was inversely correlated with HDL and smoking. We found significant correlations between PCT levels, coronary events and cardiovascular death. However, these relationships lost statistical significance when the analysis was corrected for CRP and the traditional risk factors.

Conclusions: This is the largest population-based prospective study to demonstrate a positive association between plasma PCT levels and cardiovascular risk in subjects with no previous history of acute cardiovascular events. However, the high degree of covariation between PCT and other cardiovascular risk factors limits the value of PCT as an independent cardiovascular risk predictor. © 2012 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • EXODIAB: Excellence in Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Publishing year







Journal of Internal Medicine





Document type

Journal article




  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension


  • ISSN: 1365-2796