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Relation between C-reactive protein levels and body composition in a multiethnic sample of school children in Hawaii




Adipose cells secrete proinflammatory cytokines that stimulate hepatic production of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP levels are associated with adiposity levels in adults, adolescents, and older children but not in young children (age 2–3). This study examined the relation between CRP, adiposity, and cardiovascular and metabolic variables including blood pressure, glucose, and blood lipids in two young cohorts of children, averaging ∼5.5 and 8.5 years, respectively.


Children (N = 125) from eight elementary schools in the multiethnic community of Hilo Hawaii were recruited to fill out questionnaires, undergo anthropometrics and air displacement plethysmography, have resting blood pressure measured, and provide a finger stick blood sample for analysis of CRP, glucose, and blood lipids.


There were no significant differences between the cohorts in ethnic make up, household income, or parents' educational attainment. No significant relation was found between CRP and either adiposity or cardiovascular/metabolic variables in the younger cohort. However, significant correlations were found between CRP and adiposity measures and blood pressure in the older cohort. There was no marked difference in association of CRP with BMI versus waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio. In neither cohort was CRP significantly related to glucose or blood lipids.


Both amount of fat mass and time duration for possessing the adipose tissue may be important factors in determining the relation between CRP and both adiposity and blood pressure. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 22:675–679, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.