Predictors of C-reactive protein in the national social life, health, and aging project

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2011 Jan;66(1):129-36. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbq008. Epub 2010 Feb 19.


Objective: Inflammation plays an important role in many chronic degenerative diseases associated with aging, and social, economic, and behavioral factors that contribute to inflammation may lead to differential burdens of morbidity and mortality in later life. This study examines socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity as predictors of C-reactive protein (CRP) among older adults in the United States and considers the degree to which health behaviors, medical conditions and medication use, and psychosocial factors account for these associations.

Methods: Multiple linear regression analysis of survey data for 1,580 participants, 57-85 years of age, in a population-based nationally representative sample of community-residing older adults in the United States.

Results: Educational attainment, household wealth, and race/ethnicity were independently associated with CRP, with limited evidence for interactions with age. Health-related behaviors and usage of medications related to inflammation accounted for substantial proportions of these associations.

Discussion: These results highlight the fundamental causes of inflammation among older adults and suggest pathways through which social disparities in inflammation may be reduced.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / blood*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychology
  • Social Class*
  • United States


  • C-Reactive Protein