Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Children: Validating Findings of a C-Reactive Protein Concentration Study

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Lead Author Type

MBI Masters Student


Dr. Guenter Tusch, tuschg@gvsu.edu

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C-reactive protein was found to be an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. So far, several studies in adults and very few in children were conducted to identify the relationship between C-reactive protein and other risk factors for cardio vascular diseases. The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey conducted in the year 2001-2002, 2003-2004 were the eighth and ninth in a series of periodic surveys conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).They were primarily designed to provide national estimates of the health and nutritional status of United States’ civilian, aged two months and older. The intention of this project was to choose a peer-reviewed article that analyzed NHANES data and to perform a similar analysis using more recent data from a different NHANES series to compare the regression models and their predictions in another population spanning a different time period. The article “C-reactive protein concentration and cardiovascular disease risk factors in children: findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2000“ by Ford ES (Journal of American Heart Association / Circulation 2003; 108; 1053-1058) served as the basis for the project. This article assesses the association between C-reactive protein and other cardio vascular risk factors for children among different age groups. Most of the cardiovascular diseases have their origin in childhood and therefore assessing their future risk is an important strategy for prevention. We performed regression and correlation analysis on the NHANES 2001-2002 dataset using appropriate risk factors as per the Ford article. Based on the criteria followed by Ford’s article, 2931 children 3 to 17 years of age were selected. In correlation analysis, the predictor variables such as age, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and total serum cholesterol showed a significant association with the C-reactive protein concentration. In multiple linear regression analysis, total serum cholesterol and body mass index were the best predictors of C-reactive protein concentration. Likewise the correlation and regression analysis of children from different age groups and sexes was reported. In order to strengthen the validation of these results a similar analysis was performed on the 2003-2004 dataset and the results were compared. Finally, it was observed that besides body mass index which was yielded in the Ford paper, total serum cholesterol concentration was also turned to be the best predictor of C-reactive protein concentration.

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