The association between dietary quality scores with C-reactive protein and novel biomarkers of inflammation platelet-activating factor and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2: a cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Healthy dietary patterns are associated with lower inflammation and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and adherence can be measured using diet quality scores. Inflammation is traditionally measured with C-reactive protein (hsCRP), however there is interest in novel pro-inflammatory markers platelet-activating factor (PAF) and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA 2) that are specifically involved in endothelial dysfunction and inflammation. This cross-sectional study investigated the association between PAF, Lp-PLA 2, hsCRP, and six diet scores. One hundred adults (49 ± 13 years, 31% male) with variable CVD risk were recruited. Fasting PAF, Lp-PLA 2 and hsCRP and usual dietary intake were measured. Adherence to Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Dairy-adjusted DASH, Vegetarian Lifestyle Index, Healthy Eating Index for Australians (HEIFA), Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) and PREDIMED-Plus (erMedDiet) scores were calculated. Correlations and multiple regressions were performed. hsCRP, but not PAF, independently correlated with several diet scores. Lp-PLA 2 independently correlated with Vegetarian Lifestyle Index only in unadjusted models. A one-point increase in adherence to the DASH Index, the Dairy-adjusted DASH Index and the Vegetarian Lifestyle Index was associated with a 30%, 30%, and 33% reduction in hsCRP levels, respectively. Smaller effects were seen with the other diet scores with a one-point increase in adherence resulting in a 19%, 22% and 16% reduction in hsCRP with HEIFA, MEDAS, erMedDiet scores, respectively. The lack of stronger associations between the novel markers of inflammation and diet scores may be due to confounding by COVID-19 infection and vaccination programs, which prevents any firm conclusion on the relationship between PAF, Lp-PLA 2 and healthy dietary patterns. Future research should aim to examine the relationship with these novel markers and healthy dietary patterns in a non-pandemic setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalNutrition and Metabolism
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online date12 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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