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Inflammatory markers and blood pressure: sex differences and the effect of fat mass in the CoLaus Study.
Journal of Human Hypertension
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Publication types: Journal Article
Several studies have reported high levels of inflammatory biomarkers in hypertension, but data coming from the general population are sparse, and sex differences have been little explored. The CoLaus Study is a cross-sectional examination survey in a random sample of 6067 Caucasians aged 35-75 years in Lausanne, Switzerland. Blood pressure (BP) was assessed using a validated oscillometric device. Anthropometric parameters were also measured, including body composition, using electrical bioimpedance. Crude serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and ultrasensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were positively and IL-1β (IL-1β) negatively (P<0.001 for all values), associated with BP. For IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α, the association disappeared in multivariable analysis, largely explained by differences in age and body mass index, in particular fat mass. On the contrary, hsCRP remained independently and positively associated with systolic (β (95% confidence interval): 1.15 (0.64; 1.65); P<0.001) and diastolic (0.75 (0.42; 1.08); P<0.001) BP. Relationships of hsCRP, IL-6 and TNF-α with BP tended to be stronger in women than in men, partly related to the difference in fat mass, yet the interaction between sex and IL-6 persisted after correction for all tested confounders. In the general population, the associations between inflammatory biomarkers and rising levels of BP are mainly driven by age and fat mass. The stronger associations in women suggest that sex differences might exist in the complex interplay between BP and inflammation.
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