Original Article | Published:

The association between inflammation, obesity and elevated blood pressure in 16–25-year-old females

Journal of Human Hypertension volume 31, pages 580584 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

There is evidence to show an association between inflammation, obesity and elevated blood pressure. However, there is limited data for this relationship in adolescent females. We aimed to investigate the association between high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and elevated blood pressure in young Australian females. Women aged 16–25 years living in Victoria were randomly recruited via targeted Facebook advertising. Socio-demographic information was collected via a web-based questionnaire. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were conducted by trained staff. Hs-CRP was assessed using the Abbott Architect assay. The demographic data were collected from 639 females (mean ±s.d. age: 22±3). The blood pressure data were available for 502 participants. Approximately 28% had elevated blood pressure (defined by a blood pressure reading 120–139/80–89 mm Hg for adults and >90th and <95th percentiles for age, sex and height for adolescents). Approximately 24% had hs-CRP >3.0 mg l−1 and 30% were overweight or obese. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, obese females (OR: 5.5, 95% CI: 2.4−12.5, P<0.001) were more likely to have elevated blood pressure compared with those with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range. Elevated hs-CRP levels were associated with an increased odds of elevated blood pressure (OR: 3.4, 95% CI: 1.8−6.3, P<0.001). However, this association was no longer significant after adjustment for BMI. Findings from this study demonstrate that hs-CRP and obesity are associated with elevated blood pressure in young females. Thus, our findings may promote further research into the underlying mechanisms of these associations and related long-term health risks.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Melbourne Health Pathology and Ashwini Kale for collecting visceral data from participants. We also thank the research nurses, students and other staff who helped collect the data for the YFHI and Safe-D studies, and also the participants, without whom the studies would not have been possible. This work was supported by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (Program Grant #568971 and Project Grant #APP1049065).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

    • A K Subasinghe
    •  & S M Garland
  2. Infection and Immunity Theme, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia

    • A K Subasinghe
    •  & S M Garland
  3. Bone and Mineral Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

    • J D Wark
  4. Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    • J D Wark
    •  & E T Callegari
  5. Melbourne EpiCentre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

    • A Gorelik
  6. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    • S M Garland

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Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A K Subasinghe.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/jhh.2017.33