Background: While MS is considered, in part, an inflammatory disease, the relationship between measures of adiposity and MS have not been well studied. This is important considering the strength of the association between adiposity and inflammation reported in the general population, and the resultant increased risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Evidence demonstrates MS is associated with higher prevalence rates of cardiovascular disease than the general population, which provides an impetus to examine how measures of adiposity and systemic inflammation are related in individuals with MS.
Objective: To examine the association between measures of adiposity and systemic inflammation, specifically using the global marker C-reactive protein (CRP), among persons with MS compared with a control group without MS.
Methods: Persons with MS and a control group (n = 33/group) had measures of adiposity (body mass index, total body fat, and trunk fat) correlated and regressed to CRP. Results: Differential relationships between CRP and adiposity measures were observed between the MS group and the control group. Within the MS group, when adjusted for sex, age, and physical activity level, only whole body percent fat explained a significant portion of the variance in CRP (adjusted R2 = 0.095, p < 0.05), whereas all of the adiposity measures explained a significant degree of variance within the control group (p < 0.05), with trunk fat mass having the strongest correlation.
Conclusions: The differential relationships observed between the MS and control groups suggests that whole body fat may be a more important factor related to whole body inflammation in MS, rather than other adiposity markers, such as BMI or trunk fat. This differential association should be taken into account in future research examining body fatness/obesity and CRP.

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Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Department of General Practice

Baynard, T. (Tracy), Hilgenkamp, T., Schroeder, E.C. (Elizabeth C.), Motl, R.W. (Robert W.), & Fernhall, B. (Bo). (2018). Measures of adiposity differentially correlate with C-reactive protein among persons with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 25, 1–4. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.07.010