Abstract

The socio-demographic, behavioral and anthropometric correlates of C-reactive protein levels were examined in a representative young adult Brazilian population. The 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study (Brazil) recruited over 99% of births in the city of Pelotas that year (N = 5914). Individuals belonging to the cohort have been prospectively followed up. In 2004-2005, 77.4% of the cohort was traced, members were interviewed and 3827 individuals donated blood. Analyses of the outcome were based on a conceptual model that differentiated confounders from potential mediators. The following independent variables were studied in relation to levels of C-reactive protein in sex-stratified analyses: skin color, age, family income, education, parity, body mass index, waist circumference, smoking, fat/fiber/alcohol intake, physical activity, and minor psychiatric disorder. Geometric mean (95% confidence interval) C-reactive protein levels for the 1919 males and 1908 females were 0.89 (0.84-0.94) and 1.96 mg/L (1.85-2.09), respectively. Pregnant women and those using oral contraceptive therapies presented the highest C-reactive protein levels and all sub-groups of women had higher levels than men (P < 0.001). Significant associations between C-reactive protein levels were observed with age, socioeconomic indicators, obesity status, smoking, fat and alcohol intake, and minor psychiatric disorder. Associations were stronger at higher levels of C-reactive protein and some associations were sex-specific. We conclude that both distal (socio-demographic) and proximal (anthropometric and behavioral) factors exert strong effects on C-reactive protein levels and that the former are mediated to some degree by the latter.

Disciplines

Food Science | Nutrition

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