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Clin Chem. 2004 Mar;50(3):574-81. Epub 2004 Jan 6.

Distribution and correlates of C-reactive protein concentrations among adult US women.

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Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



Understanding the distribution of C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration among adult women in the US helps to establish the magnitude of women at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.


We examined the distribution and correlates of CRP, using data from 2205 women >or=20 years of age from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000. CRP was measured with a high-sensitivity latex-enhanced turbidimetric assay.


CRP concentration ranged from 0.1 to 296.0 mg/L (median, 2.7 mg/L). After exclusion of women with a CRP concentration >10 mg/L, the median was 2.2 mg/L. Approximately 25.7% of women, representing approximately 26.8 million women, did not report using hormone replacement therapy and had a CRP concentration >3.0 to 10 mg/L, a category considered to indicate high risk for cardiovascular disease. Multiple linear regression analysis included age, race or ethnicity, education, smoking status, total cholesterol concentration, triglyceride concentration, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and concentrations of glucose, insulin, c-peptide, and glycated hemoglobin. CRP concentration varied by race or ethnicity (Mexican American > white) and hormone replacement therapy (users > nonusers). In addition, significant and independent associations existed between CRP and waist circumference, total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, and systolic blood pressure but not age, smoking status, alcohol use, insulin concentration, glycated hemoglobin, and c-peptide concentration.


Large numbers of US women have an increased concentration of CRP.

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