C-reactive protein (CRP), smoking, and oral contraceptive (OC) use are associated with cardiovascular disease risk in adults.
This study examines the effect of smoking on high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) levels, and the interactive effects of sex and OC use on this relationship, in an adolescent cohort. A total of 1050 adolescents (mean age, 17±0.25 years) from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study had anthropometric, lifestyle and metabolic measures recorded.
The association between smoking status and log-transformed hs-CRP was analysed using multivariable tobit linear regression models, with adjustment for adiposity, lifestyle, and early-life confounders. A three-level variable (girls not using OC, girls using OC, and boys) was employed to assess the interactive effects of sex, OC use, and smoking.
Smoking associated with higher hs-CRP levels in girls not using OC (b=0.571; p=0.001), but not in girls using OC (b= -0.117; p=0.598) or in boys (b=0.183; p=0.2). OC use in non-smoking girls was the strongest factor associated with higher hs-CRP levels (b=1.189; p<0.001). This study has demonstrated a more robust effect of smoking on hs-CRP levels in girls not using OC, compared with boys. The findings may explain why cardiovascular disease risk conferred by smoking is higher in women than in men.
Gender and the Active Smoking and High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Relation in Late Adolescence
Source: Journal of Lipid Research
Image credits: BLS