Sex and race differences in the relationship between obesity and C-reactive protein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


C-reactive protein (CRP) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality; it is known to be positively associated with obesity but there is some evidence that this association differs by race or sex. We used nationally representative data of adults aged >50 years to investigate sex and race modifiers of the associations between obesity and CRP in non-Hispanic White males (n=3,517) and females (n=4,658), and non-Hispanic Black males (n=464) and females (n=826). Using multiple linear regression models with the natural logarithm of CRP as the dependent variable, we sequentially included body mass index (BMI), a body shape index (ABSI), and socioeconomic, health and health behavior covariates in the model. The association between BMI and CRP was significantly stronger in females than males. Obese White females had mean CRP values slightly above 3 mg/liter (vs 2 for White males) and Black females had mean CRP values >4 mg/liter (vs 3 for Black males). More than 50% of Black females in the United States have obesity. Continued research into racial and sex differences in the relationship between obesity, inflammation, and health risks may ultimately lead to more personalized weight loss recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Aged
  • C-reactive protein
  • Obesity
  • Race
  • Sex Differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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