Many observational studies have shown elevated blood CRP levels in schizophrenia compared with controls, and one population-based prospective study has reported that elevated plasma CRP levels were associated with late- and very-late-onset schizophrenia. Furthermore, several clinical studies have reported the efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs on the symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. However, whether elevated CRP levels are causally related to schizophrenia is not still established because of confounding factors and reverse causality. In the present study, we demonstrated that serum CRP levels were significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia than in the controls by conducting a case-control study and a meta-analysis of case-control studies between schizophrenia and serum CRP levels. Furthermore, we provided evidence for a causal association between elevated CRP levels and increased schizophrenia risk by conducting a Mendelian randomization analysis. Our findings suggest that elevated CRP itself may be a causal risk factor for schizophrenia.
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