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Area-Level Socioeconomic Status, Adiposity, Physical Activity, and Inflammation in Young Adults, 2013
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  • Description:
    Introduction

    We assessed the independent effects of socioeconomic status, sex, adiposity, and physical activity on C-reactive protein in young adults.

    Methods

    During the fall semester of their first year, college students (n = 177; mean age, 18.1 y; 66.7% female; 65.5% white) were assessed for adiposity via dual x-ray absorptiometry, physical activity via accelerometer, and serum C-reactive protein. Area-level socioeconomic status was based on self-reported home zip code. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to assess the relationship of sex, adiposity, and physical activity on the dependent variable of C-reactive protein, with participants nested within geographic regions of similar socioeconomic characteristics.

    Results

    C-reactive protein was positively associated with adiposity and inversely associated with socioeconomic status (both P < .05). Area-level socioeconomic status explained 28.2% of the variance in C-reactive protein. Adiposity was significantly associated with C-reactive protein in the full model (P = .006); physical activity was not associated with C-reactive protein (P = .48), and area-level socioeconomic status approached significance (P = .05) within the age range of our analysis after accounting for the variance explained by adiposity.

    Conclusion

    The significant positive association between adiposity and C-reactive protein suggests that young adults with higher adiposity have higher C-reactive protein levels after accounting for area-level socioeconomic status, sex, and physical activity.

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