To analyze the circulating levels of proinflammatory peptides in healthy prepubertal children in relation to abdominal obesity, measured by waist circumference (WC), and to investigate their interactions with cardiometabolic risk factors.
Design and methods
A cross-sectional study of 137 healthy prepubertal children with a mean age of 8.0±0.1 years divided into three groups according to their WC as a measure of abdominal obesity: ‘normal-WC’ children (25th–75th percentile, n=48), ‘children at risk’ (75th–90th percentile, n=39), and ‘abdominally obese’ (≥90th percentile, n=50) children. Auxological measurements and blood pressure (BP) were taken. Fasting levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin 6 (IL6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), glucose, insulin, and lipid profile were measured. Insulin resistance (IR) was assessed by homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR).
Abdominally obese children had significantly higher BP, insulin, HOMA-IR, total cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) compared with their normal-WC counterparts (P<0.05). HsCRP concentrations increased proportionally with the degree of abdominal obesity (r=0.443, P<0.0001), whereas IL6 and TNF-α were not significantly associated with any of the adiposity variables. After controlling for adiposity, hsCRP was significantly correlated with systolic BP (r=0.257, P=0.004), TNF-α levels were related to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C; r=−0.216, P=0.016) and TG (r=0.196, P=0.029), whereas the relationship between IL6 and HDL-C reduced its magnitude to an insignificant level (r=−0.173, P=0.055).
Healthy prepubertal children with abdominal obesity have associated inflammatory and cardiometabolic alterations, interacting with each other.