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Journal article Open Access

The Association between C-Reactive Protein and Hypertension of Different United States Participants Categorized by Ethnicity: Applying the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999-2010

Ghada Abo-Zaid

Objectives: The main objective of this study was to examine the association between the elevated level of C-reactive protein (CRP) and incidence of hypertension before and after adjustments for age, BMI, gender, SES, smoking, diabetes, cholesterol LDL and cholesterol HDL, and to determine whether the association differs by race. Method: Cross sectional data for participants from aged 17 years to 74 years, included in The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2010 were analyzed. The CRP level was classified into three categories (> 3 mg/L, between 1 mg/L and 3 mg/L, and < 3 mg/L). Blood pressure categorization was done using JNC 7 indicator. Hypertension is defined as either systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 140 mmHg or more and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90 mmHg or more, otherwise a self-reported prior diagnosis by a physician. Pre-hypertension was defined as 139 ≥ SBP > 120 or 89 ≥ DBP >80. Multinominal regression model was undertaken to measure the association between CRP level and hypertension. Results: In univariable models, CRP concentrations > 3 mg/L were associated with a 73% greater risk of incident hypertension compared with CRP concentrations < 1 mg/L (Hypertension: odds ratio [OR] = 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.50-1.99). Ethnic comparisons showed that American Mexicans had the highest risk of incident hypertension (OR = 2.39; 95% CI, 2.21-2.58). This risk was statistically insignificant after controlling by other variables (Hypertension: OR = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.52-1.08), or categorized by race [American Mexican: OR= 1.58; 95% CI, 0.58-4.26, Other Hispanic: OR = 0.87; 95% CI, 0.19-4.42, Non-Hispanic white: OR = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.50-1.59, Non-Hispanic Black: OR = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.22-0.87. The same results were found for pre-hypertension, and the Non-Hispanic black segment showed the highest significant risk for Pre-Hypertension (OR = 1.60; 95% CI, 1.26-2.03). When CRP concentrations were between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L in unadjusted models, prehypertension was associated with higher likelihood of elevated CRP (OR = 1.37; 95% CI, 1.15-1.62). The same relationship was maintained in Non-Hispanic white, Non-Hispanic black, and other race (Non-Hispanic white: OR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.03-1.48, Non-Hispanic black: OR = 1.60; 95% CI, 1.27-2.03, other race: OR = 2.50; 95% CI, 1.32-4.74) while the association was insignificant with American Mexican and other Hispanic. In the adjusted model, the relationship between CRP and prehypertension were no longer available. Contrary, hypertension was not independently associated with elevated CRP, and the results were the same after being grouped by race or adjustments for the possible confounder variables. The same results were obtained when SBP or DBP were on a continuous measure. Conclusions: This study confirmed the existence of an association between hypertension, prehypertension and elevated level of CRP, however this association was no longer available after adjusting by other variables. Ethic group differences were statistically significant at the univariable models, while it disappeared after controlling by other variables. 
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