BACKGROUND AND AIM - Increased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), common in aging populations, are associated with higher risk for chronic diseases, including diabetes and coronary heart disease. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between lifestyle factors and high CRP among middle-aged men living in Shanghai, China.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In this cross-sectional study, 3978 urban Chinese men aged 40-74 years who were free of type-2 diabetes at baseline provided fasting blood samples, anthropometric measurements and information on lifestyle factors and disease history. Dietary patterns were assessed by factor analysis. Participants were categorised into two groups according to CRP level: normal (≤ 3 mg/L) and high (> 3 mg/L). Associations between CRP categories and lifestyle factors were investigated by using logistic regression. Obesity, weight gain, cigarette smoking and alcohol intake were positively associated with high CRP levels, while physical activity and a dietary pattern with high consumption of fruit were inversely related to high CRP levels. A positive trend of marginal significance between quintiles of a dietary pattern with high consumption of meat and high CRP levels was also observed. No association between tea intake and CRP level was observed.
CONCLUSIONS - Components of an adverse lifestyle were associated with high CRP levels. Obesity, smoking and alcohol intake were associated with high CRP, a biomarker of low-grade inflammation in middle-aged men, while a dietary pattern rich in fruit and high physical activity were inversely associated with the prevalence of high CRP.
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