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Open Access Research article

Sex difference in the association of metabolic syndrome with high sensitivity C-reactive protein in a Taiwanese population

Ming-May Lai12, Chia-Ing Li3, Sharon LR Kardia4, Chiu-Shong Liu12, Wen-Yuan Lin12, Yih-Dar Lee56, Pei-Chia Chang7, Cheng-Chieh Lin1289* and Tsai-Chung Li10118*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, China Medical University & Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

2 Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University & Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

3 Medical Research, China Medical University & Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

4 Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

5 Department of Psychiatric, Medical College, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

6 Bristol-Myers Squibb (Taiwan) Ltd, Global Development & Medical Affair, Tainan, Taiwan

7 Administration Center, China Medical University & Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

8 Institute of Health Care Administration, College of Health Science, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

9 School and Graduate Institute of Health Care Administration, College of Public Health, China Medical University & Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

10 Graduate Institute of Biostatistics & Chinese Medicine Science, China Medical University & Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

11 Biostatistics Center, China Medical University & Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:429  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-429

Published: 21 July 2010

Abstract

Background

Although sex differences have been reported for associations between components of metabolic syndrome and inflammation, the question of whether there is an effect modification by sex in the association between inflammation and metabolic syndrome has not been investigated in detail. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare associations of high sensitivity C-creative protein (hs-CRP) with metabolic syndrome and its components between men and women.

Methods

A total of 1,305 subjects aged 40 years and over were recruited in 2004 in a metropolitan city in Taiwan. The biochemical indices, such as hs-CRP, fasting glucose levels, lipid profiles, urinary albumin, urinary creatinine and anthropometric indices, were measured. Metabolic syndrome was defined using the American Heart Association and the National Heart, lung and Blood Institute (AHA/NHLBI) definition. The relationship between metabolic syndrome and hs-CRP was examined using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results

After adjustment for age and lifestyle factors including smoking, and alcohol intake, elevated concentrations of hs-CRP showed a stronger association with metabolic syndrome in women (odds ratio comparing tertile extremes 4.80 [95% CI: 3.31-6.97]) than in men (2.30 [1.65-3.21]). The p value for the sex interaction was 0.002. All components were more strongly associated with metabolic syndrome in women than in men, and all sex interactions were significant except for hypertension.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that inflammatory processes may be of particular importance in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome in women.