Obesity, inflammation and metabolic syndrome in Danish adolescents


RJ Gøbel, Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 30, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark. Tel: +45-3533-2493 | Fax: +45-3533-2469 | Email: rg@dsr.life.ku.dk


Aim:  To describe biomarkers of inflammation and markers related to the metabolic syndrome (MS) in healthy obese Danish adolescent and compare to a normal-weight group.

Methods:  Fifty-one obese and 30 normal-weight adolescents (12–15 years) were included. Anthropometry and blood pressure were measured, and blood was sampled.

Results: Obese adolescents had significantly higher blood pressure, insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, C-peptide, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), triglyceride, C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor alpha and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol values, compared with normal-weight adolescents, whereas there were no differences between the groups for glucose, free fatty acids or faecal calprotectin. Within the obese group insulin, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and CRP were positively associated with body mass index (BMI) Z-scores. The MS was present in 14% of obese adolescents. CRP was positively associated with most anthropometric measures within the obese group, and in multiple linear regression analysis both BMI Z-score and the sum of skin folds explained a considerable part (R2 = 0.421) of the variation in CRP.

Conclusion:  Otherwise healthy Danish obese adolescents had marked low-grade inflammation, elevated biomarkers of the MS and high prevalence of the MS.