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Public Health


Objective - This study examined the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and C-reactive protein (CRP), with adjustment for weight and within weight categories.

Methods and Results - We calculated median and adjusted geometric mean CRP levels, percentages of individuals with an elevated CRP (≥2.00 mg/L), and odds ratios of elevated CRP across 5 levels of cardiorespiratory fitness for 722 men. CRP values were adjusted for age, body mass index, vitamin use, statin medication use, aspirin use, the presence of inflammatory disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, and smoking habit. We found an inverse association of CRP across fitness levels (P for trend<0.001), with the highest adjusted CRP value in the lowest fitness quintile (1.64 [1.27 to 2.11] mg/L) and the lowest adjusted CRP value in the highest fitness quintile (0.70 [0.60 to 0.80] mg/L). Similar results were found for the prevalence of elevated CRP across fitness quintiles. We used logistic regression to model the adjusted odds for elevated CRP and found that compared with the referent first quintile, the second (odds ratio [OR] 0.43, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.85), third (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.65), fourth (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.47), and fifth (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.37) quintiles of fitness had significantly lower odds of elevated CRP. Similar results were found when examining the CRP-fitness relation within categories of body fatness (normal weight, overweight, and obese) and waist girth (<102 or ≥102 cm).

Conclusions - Cardiorespiratory fitness levels were inversely associated with CRP values and the prevalence of elevated CRP values in this sample of men from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study.

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