The relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and plasma antioxidants has been established in adults. However, the association has been rarely investigated in healthy children. Thus, we examined the cross-sectional association of high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) levels with fat-soluble plasma antioxidant concentrations in a cohort of healthy prepubertal children. We determined hs-CRP levels in 543 healthy six–eight-year-old children using a high-sensitivity CRP enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assay (ELISA) kit. The plasma concentrations of lipids, apolipoproteins and lipid-soluble antioxidants (α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, lycopene, α-carotene, β-carotene and retinol) were determined using standardized methods. Pearson correlation analysis showed significant correlations between plasma hs-CRP and α-carotene and retinol concentrations. After adjusting by sex, body mass index (BMI) and lipid levels, only the association with retinol remains significant, with children in the highest hs-CRP tertile group (hs-CRP ≥ 0.60 mg/dL) showing significantly lower levels of retinol than those from the tertiles 1 and 2. A stepwise linear regression selected retinol, BMI, apo A-I and sex as predictors of hs-CRP levels, in a model explaining 19.2% of the variability of hs-CRP. In conclusion, in healthy prepubertal children, after adjusting by sex, BMI and lipid levels, hs-CRP concentrations were highly associated with plasma retinol, which is transported in blood bound to retinol-binding protein but were not associated with the lipoprotein-bound antioxidants.
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