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J Aging Health. 2019 Jul 17:898264319862419. doi: 10.1177/0898264319862419. [Epub ahead of print]

Chronic Ongoing Stressors and C-Reactive Protein: A Within-Person Study.

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1 McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Objectives: Literature suggests C-reactive protein (CRP)-as a marker of low-grade systemic inflammation-may mediate the linkage between chronic stressors and cardiometabolic conditions. Previous population-based reports are based on weak methodologies and may have yielded incorrect inferences. The current study examined linkages of within-person CRP variation with corresponding variation in stressor burdens. Method: Data were from the 2006, 2010, and 2014 waves of the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. Analysis was through unit fixed effects and first-difference estimators. Both gender-combined and gender-specific models were run. Results: In none of the analyses was CRP positively associated with chronic stressors. This was true among both genders, and in models of linear as well as nonlinear change. Results held in a series of separate robustness checks. Discussion: CRP may not mediate the social etiology of degenerative diseases. Population representative evidence of inflammation's role in these processes remains absent.


HRS; cardiometabolic; inflammation; older adults; stress process


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