Objective: To evaluate cardiovascular disease risk in First Nation youth with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or obesity by comparing pro- and anti-inflammatory adipokines, markers of oxidative stress and the plasma phospholipid fatty acid profile.
Method: Self-declared First Nation youth (12–15 yr) with T2DM (n = 24) as well as age-, gender-, and body mass index-matched controls (obese group; n = 19) and unmatched controls (control group; n = 34) were recruited from a pediatric diabetes clinic.
Results: Plasma tumor necrosis factor-α, ultrasensitive C-reactive protein, resistin, and total antioxidant status were not different among the three groups. Plasma total leptin, soluble leptin receptor, and free leptin were significantly higher in the T2DM group than the control group (p < 0.001, p = 0.019, p < 0.001, respectively) but did not differ from the obese group. Similarly, oxidized low-density lipoprotein was higher in the T2DM group compared with controls (p = 0.002) but not in the obese group. However, interleukin-6 was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the T2DM group compared with both the control and the obese groups, suggesting that T2DM, but not an increase in adiposity, was responsible for this elevation. Adiponectin was significantly lower in the T2DM group compared with the control group only (p = 0.035).
Conclusions: Changes in plasma adipokines and oxidative stress can already be detected in youth with T2DM; however, many of the changes are mirrored in obese youth, suggesting that both these populations are at an increased risk for future cardiovascular complications.