Date of Conferral





Health Services


Raymond M. Panas


An increase in cellular inflammatory biomarkers directly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Using the social ecological and biomedical theories, the study examined quantitatively how specific inflammatory biomarkers are associated with cardiorenal syndrome (CRS), a potential complication of hypertension and diabetes, and how sociodemographic factors modify this association in the U.S. adult population. A retrospective secondary data analysis of the data collected from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2010 was utilized to evaluate these hypotheses. High sensitivity C-reactive protein, homocysteine (hcy), and fibrinogen had a modifying effect on Type 4 (chronic reno-cardiac etiology), Type 2 CRS (chronic cardio-renal etiology), and a significant additive effect on CRS even after controlling for known CVD and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) risk factors. For Type 4 CRS, the adjusted Odds Ratio of CVD in individuals with CKD was elevated, 2.29 (Confidence Interval [CI] 1.17-3.64, p < 0.05), among individuals with elevated hcy levels but close to 1.0 (0.65 CI 0.28-1.53, p > 0.05) among patients with normal hcy after the results were controlled for medical and demographic risk factors. Finally, race modified the effect of inflammatory markers on CRS. Out of all the biomarkers, income only modified the effect of hcy on CRS. Education level modified the effect of every inflammatory marker on CRS. While Ferritin-to-Transferrin ratio (F/T ratio) had a non-significant additive effect, due to the lack of adequate subjects, the modifying effect of F/T ratio could not be tested. This study can help initiate social change by urging healthcare professionals to monitor these biomarkers as a part of preventing hypertension, diabetes, and CRS.