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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;67(6):664-9. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.75. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

High sensitivity C-reactive protein concentrations, birthweight and cardiovascular risk markers in Brazilian children.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and low birthweight have emerged as predictors of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In studies involving adults, higher concentrations of hs-CRP have been associated with low birthweight. This study assessed the relationship between hs-CRP and birthweight, and other risk markers for CVDs in childhood.


A total of 459 Brazilian children aged 5-8 years were included in the study. hs-CRP was measured by particle-enhanced immunonephelometry. The nutritional status of the children was assessed by BMI and waist circumference. Total cholesterol and fractions, triglycerides and glucose were measured by enzymatic methods. Insulin sensitivity was determined by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) method. Blood pressure was measured by the HDI/Pulse Wave CR-2000 equipment (Hypertension Diagnostics, Eagan, MN, USA). A multivariate linear regression analysis investigated the association between hs-CRP and birthweight, and risk markers for CVDs.


There were positive associations between hs-CRP and gender (P=0.001), waist circumference (P<0.001) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) (P=0.03), and negative associations between hs-CRP and age (P<0.001), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) (P=0.005) (R²=0.14). Abnormal values of hs-CRP, waist circumference, HDL-c and SBP, respectively, were observed in 27.7, 26.4, 14.4 and 34.7% of the children.


Opposite to studies involving adults, there was no association between hs-CRP and birthweight, implying that time may strengthen the relationship, considering that hs-CRP-concentration-associated metabolic changes increase from childhood to adulthood. The associations between hs-CRP and waist circumference, HDL-c and SBP in very young ages is a matter of concern, especially in females, in view of the large number of children with abnormal values of these measurements.

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