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Inflammation in metabolically healthy and metabolically abnormal adolescents: the HELENA study

Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases - DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2017.10.004


Background and Aims: Inflammation may influence the cardio-metabolic profile which relates with the risk of chronic diseases. To assess the inflammatory status by metabolic health/body mass index (BMI) category and to assess how inflammatory markers can predict the cardio-metabolic profile in European adolescents, considering BMI.

Methods and Results: 659 adolescents (295 boys) from a cross-sectional European study were included. Adolescents were classified by metabolic health based on age- and sex-specific cut-off points for glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides, high density cholesterol and BMI. C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL-6), complement factors (C3, C4) and cell adhesion molecules were assessed.

Results: Metabolically abnormal (MA) adolescents had higher values of C3 (p<0.001) and C4 (p=0.032) compared to those metabolically healthy (MH). C3 concentrations significantly increased with the deterioration of the metabolic health and BMI (p<0.001). Adolescents with higher values of CRP had higher probability of being in the overweight/obese-MH group than those allocated in other categories. Finally, high C3 and C4 concentrations increased the probability of having an unfavorable metabolic/BMI status.

Conclusions: Metabolic/BMI status and inflammatory biomarkers are associated, being the CRP, C3 and C4 the most related inflammatory markers with this condition. C3 and C4 were associated with the cardio-metabolic health consistently.



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