Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) and many fatty acids (FAs) have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Associations of serum CRP with FAs in different populations have not been established. Methods: Participants were 926 men aged 40-49 (2002-2006) from a population-based sample; 310 Whites from Pennsylvania, U.S., 313 Japanese from Shiga, Japan, and 303 Japanese Americans from Hawaii, U.S. Serum CRP (mg/L) was measured using immunosorbent assay while serum FAs (%) were measured using capillary-gasliquid chromatography. Results: Whites had CRP (mg/L) levels higher than Japanese with Japanese Americans in-between (age-adjusted geometric mean “GM” 0.96, 0.38, 0.66, respectively). Whites had also higher levels of total n-6 FAs (%) and trans fatty acids (TFAs) but lower levels of marine-derived n-3 FAs compared to Japanese (41.78 vs. 35.05, 1.04 vs. 0.58, & 3.85 vs. 9.29, respectively). Japanese Americans had FAs levels in-between the other two populations. Whites had significant inverse trends between CRP and tertiles of total n-6 FAs (GM 1.20, 0.91 & 0.80; p=0.002) and marine-derived n-3 FAs (GM 1.22, 1.00 & 0.72; p<0.001) but a significant positive trend with TFAs (GM 0.80, 0.95 & 1.15; p=0.007). Japanese had a significant inverse trend between CRP and only total n-6 FAs (GM 0.50, 0.35 & 0.31; p<0.001). Japanese Americans had CRP associations with n-3 FAs, n-6 FAs, and TFAs similar to but weaker than Whites. Conclusions: With the exception of consistent inverse association of CRP with total n-6 FAs, there are considerable variations across the three populations in the associations of CRP with different FAs.
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