State Wealth Linked to Markers of Cardiac Health in Women

State-level socioeconomic status linked to hsCRP; individual income linked to sICAM-1, fibrinogen

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- State-level macro socioeconomic conditions are associated with biomarkers of inflammation, particularly high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), among healthy women, according to a study published online March 20 in BMC Public Health.

To estimate the association between state-level socioeconomic conditions and individual-level biomarkers of inflammation, Cheryl R. Clark, M.D., Sc.D., of Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues examined data from 26,029 healthy women from the Women's Health Study who were free of cardiovascular diseases at enrollment. Between 1993 and 1996, hsCRP, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), and fibrinogen were measured. Biomarker levels were examined within quartiles of state-level socioeconomic conditions and within categories of individual-level income.

The researchers found that lower hsCRP was associated with favorable state-level socioeconomic conditions to a greater extent than individual-level income (for example, state-level real per capital gross domestic product fixed effect standardized Beta coefficient [Std B], −0.03). Compared with state-level conditions, individual-level income was more closely associated with sICAM-1 and fibrinogen (Std B, −0.04 and −0.05, respectively).

"Our study advances knowledge of cardiovascular disease risk factors among healthy women by demonstrating a clinically meaningful change in cardiovascular inflammation associated with state-level socioeconomic conditions, particularly for hsCRP," the authors write. "Attention to changes in cardiovascular risk factors associated with evolving state-level socioeconomic conditions may yield insights into the role of state-level policies in the prevention of cardiovascular disease among women."

One of the authors is a co-inventor on patents related to the use of inflammatory biomarkers in cardiovascular disease that have been licensed to Siemens and AstraZeneca.

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