D. Olson, R. Boettcher, S. Cooper, B. Borla, and W. M. Silvers

Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

The inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP) has potential value and clinical relevance as a predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD). PURPOSE: To examine the relationship between levels of CRP and the following commonly used predictors of CVD: body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TC: HDL-C) in college-aged students. METHODS: 43 apparently healthy, college-aged students volunteered for participation (nmale = 21, nfemale = 25). A Cholestech LDX was used to measure TC: HDL-C (mg/dL), and CRP (mg/L) from an 80 mL blood sample collected via finger prick from each participant. Height and weight were used calculate BMI (kg/m2). Waist circumference and hip circumferences were measured to calculate WHR (cm). A 9-hr fast was performed prior to a single testing session, during which all dependent variables were measured. Pearson Product-Moment correlations (p £ 0.05) were used to determine the correlations between CRP and BMI, CRP and WHR, and CRP and TC: HDL-C. RESULTS: Mean and standard deviations for each dependent variable were as follows: BMI: 25.72 ± 4.62 kg/m2, WHR: 0.77 ± 0.06 cm, TC: HDL-C: 3.09 ± 1.00 mg/dL, and CRP: 1.19 ± 1.59 mg/L. There was a significant positive weak correlation between CRP and BMI (r = 0.66; p = 0.00). There was a significant positive moderate correlation between CRP and TC: HDL-C (r = 0.48; p = 0.00). There was no significant correlation between CRP and WHR (r = 0.12; p = 0.44). CONCLUSIONS: Compared to previous research, these findings may suggest that CRP relationships with other CVD predictors may vary with age. However, the present study was the first to examine correlations between CRP and other CVD risk factors in college-aged students. Future research should include larger sample sizes, random sampling methods, and longitudinal studies to verify the strength and significance of the relationships observed in this research scenario.

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