oa African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - Distribution and association of hs-CRP with cardiovascular risk variables of metabolic syndrome in adolescent learners : original research

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its associated cardiovascular risk are on the increase in children. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) has emerged as a useful marker for inflammation associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Our aim was to determine the distribution of hs-CRP in an effort to identify the MetS variable that is critical in modulating plasma CRP levels in a population of South African adolescents.

A cross-sectional analytical study design was used for this investigation, where the dependent and independent variables were measured simultaneously.
Anthropometric variables, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and lipids were performed on 324 consenting learners aged 15-18 years from three different ethnic groups (Black, White and Coloured). The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) for ages 15-18 year olds was used to define MetS.
The prevalence of MetS and obesity was 3.7% and 7.1%, respectively. The hs-CRP levels were significantly higher in subjects with a waist-circumference greater than the 90th percentile ( < 0.01) and in obese learners with MetS, but was lower in adolescents with normal weight and MetS. Median hs-CRP levels increased with an increasing number of metabolic abnormalities and exceeded 3 mg/L in 19% of adolescents. Gender and ethnic differences were observed.
Our findings suggest that obesity and waist circumference appear to be major mediators of hs-CRP levels in South African adolescents.

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