The relationship between simple anthropometric indices and C-reactive protein: ethnic and gender differences

Metabolism. 2003 Dec;52(12):1542-6. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2003.07.005.


C-reactive protein (CRP) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) that is strongly associated with indicators of body fat, yet the effect of potential confounders, such as ethnic background and gender has not been characterized. Our purpose was to determine the effect ethnicity and gender has on the relationship between CRP, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) in men and women of Chinese and European descent. BMI, WC, WHR, and CRP were measured in European (n = 91) and Chinese (n = 91) men and women recruited from local hospital staff. Pearson correlation coefficients were determined between CRP, age, and anthropometric measures for the entire cohort and stratified by ethnicity and gender. Multiple regression analyses were performed using interactions between BMI, WC, and WHR for each ethnicity and gender with CRP as the outcome. CRP levels were significantly lower in Chinese compared with Europeans, but this difference disappeared after correction for either BMI or WC. In women, BMI (r =.55, P <.01) and WC (r =.59, P <.01) correlated with CRP. Gender significantly interacted with WC to predict CRP after adjusting for age, smoking status, alcohol, and BMI (P <.05). There was a nonsignificant interaction between gender and BMI as a predictor of CRP. Differences in CRP remained significant after adjusting for WHR. The relationship between CRP levels and BMI or WC was similar between men and women of Chinese and European descent. Gender significantly modified the relationship between CRP and WC. At a WC beyond 70 cm, CRP levels increased at a greater rate in women than men.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Anthropometry*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Triglycerides
  • C-Reactive Protein