C-reactive protein from dried blood spots: Application to household air pollution field studies

Bonnie N. Young, Jennifer L. Peel, Tracy L. Nelson, Annette M. Bachand, Judy M. Heiderscheidt, Bevin Luna, Stephen J. Reynolds, Kirsten A. Koehler, John Volckens, David Diaz-Sanchez, Lucas M. Neas, Maggie L. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Household air pollution (HAP) is estimated to be an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but little clinical evidence exists and collecting biomarkers of disease risk is difficult in low-resource settings. Among 54 Nicaraguan women with woodburning cookstoves, we evaluated cross-sectional associations between 48-hour measures of HAP (eg, fine particulate matter, PM2.5) and C-reactive protein (CRP) via dried blood spots; secondary analyses included seven additional biomarkers of systemic injury and inflammation. We conducted sub-studies to calculate the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) in biomarkers collected over four consecutive days in Nicaragua and to assess the validity of measuring biomarkers in dried blood by calculating the correlation with paired venous-drawn samples in Colorado. Measures of HAP were associated with CRP (eg, a 25% increase in indoor PM2.5 was associated with a 7.4% increase in CRP [95% confidence interval: 0.7, 14.5]). Most of the variability in CRP concentrations over the 4-day period was between-person (ICC: 0.88), and CRP concentrations were highly correlated between paired dried blood and venous-drawn serum (Spearman ρ =.96). Results for secondary biomarkers were primarily consistent with null associations, and the sub-study ICCs and correlations were lower. Assessing CRP via dried blood spots provides a feasible approach to elucidate the association between HAP and cardiovascular disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • C-reactive protein
  • biomarkers
  • biomass fuel
  • carbon monoxide
  • cardiovascular health
  • fine particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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