British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

Association of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein with cardiometabolic risk factors and micronutrient deficiencies in adults of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Augustin N. Zebaa1a2 c1, Hélène F. Delislea1, Clémentine Rossiera3 and Genevieve Reniera4

a1 Département de Nutrition, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128 succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7

a2 Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé/Direction Régionale de l'Ouest (IRSS/DRO), 01 BP 545 Bobo Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso

a3 Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP), Université de Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7118 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso

a4 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal, Département de Médecine, Université de Montréal, 1560 Sherbrooke East, Montréal, QC, Canada H2L 4M1


Increasing evidence suggests that high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRF) while being also related to micronutrient deficiencies. As part of a project on the double burden of under- and overnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, we assessed the relationship between hs-CRP and both CMRF and micronutrient deficiencies in a population-based cross-sectional study carried out in the Northern district of Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. We randomly selected 330 households stratified by income tertile. In each income stratum, 110 individuals aged 25–60 years and having lived in Ouagadougou for at least 6 months were randomly selected, and underwent anthropometric measurements and blood sample collection. The prevalence of high hs-CRP was 39·4 %, with no sex difference. Vitamin A-deficient subjects (12·7 %) exhibited significant risk of elevated hs-CRP (OR 2·5; P= 0·015). Serum ferritin was positively correlated with log hs-CRP (r 0·194; P= 0·002). The risk of elevated hs-CRP was significant in subjects with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 (OR 6·9; 95 % CI 3·6, 13·3), abdominal obesity (OR 4·6; 95 % CI 2·2, 7·3) and high body fat (OR 10·2; 95 % CI 5·1, 20·3) (P< 0·001, respectively). Independent predictors of hs-CRP in linear regression models were waist circumference (β = 0·306; P= 0·018) and serum TAG (β = 0·158; P= 0·027). In this sub-Saharan population, hs-CRP was consistently associated with adiposity. Assuming that plasma hs-CRP reflects future risk of cardiovascular events, intervention which reduces CRP, or chronic and acute nutrition conditions associated with it, could be effective in preventing their occurrence particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

(Received February 03 2012)

(Revised June 14 2012)

(Accepted June 19 2012)

(Online publication August 23 2012)

Key Words:

  • Micronutrient deficiencies;
  • Cardiometabolic risk factors;
  • Inflammation;
  • Adults;
  • Burkina Faso


c1 Corresponding author: Dr A. N. Zeba, fax +1 514 343 73 95, E-mail:


  Abbreviations: CMRF, cardiometabolic risk factor; CRP, C-reactive protein; HDL-C, HDL-cholesterol; HOMA, homeostasis model assessment; hs-CRP, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; LDL-C, LDL-cholesterol; TC, total cholesterol; WC, waist circumference