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