Physical Activity and High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Darcy S. Majka, Rowland W. Chang, Thanh Huyen T. Vu, Walter Palmas, Dominic F. Geffken, Pamela Ouyang, Hanyu Ni, Kiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have suggested an inverse relationship between physical activity and markers of inflammation such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). However, these were inconsistent, and few examined whether race and gender influenced the relationship. This study determined a cross-sectional association between physical activity and hs-CRP level in 6142 middle-aged white, Chinese, black, and Hispanic participants enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis in 2000-2002. Methods: Combined moderate and vigorous physical activity was measured by self-reported leisure, conditioning, occupational, and household activities. ANCOVA was used to assess the association between moderate/vigorous physical activity and hs-CRP by gender and race. Results: Hs-CRP was higher in women. Blacks had the highest hs-CRP, and Chinese participants had the lowest. Hs-CRP decreased across tertiles of moderate/vigorous physical activity in Hispanic men in models adjusted for age, education, study site, and physical activity questionnaire mode of administration (p=0.005) and further adjusted for smoking, infection, and aspirin use (p=0.020). The trend remained significant after further adjustment for BMI; blood pressure; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; diabetes; and the use of antihypertensive, statin, and diabetes medication (p=0.044). There was a downward trend in hs-CRP across tertiles of physical activity in black and white men, but the association was weaker. No clear trend was observed in any female racial/ethnic groups. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the association between moderate/vigorous physical activity and hs-CRP differs by race and gender. Further studies are needed to confirm this and to examine the mechanisms for these race and gender differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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