Objective: To investigate the relationships of sub-clinical inflammation and regional and generalized obesity and lipids in adolescent and young adult Asian Indians in north India.
Methods: We determined serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for sub-clinical inflammation, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (W-HR), four skinfolds (biceps, triceps, subscapular and suprailiac), percentage of body fat (% BF) and lipid profile in 377 healthy adolescents and young adults (331 males and 46 females, age range: 14-25 years).
Results: Overweight subjects (BMI>85th percentile), and subjects with high values (>85th percentile) of WC and triceps skinfold thickness had significantly higher median CRP levels (P=0.04, P=0.001 and P=0.007, respectively) as compared with subjects with lower values of the variables. Elevated levels of CRP (>2.1 mg/l) were observed in 21.8% of the overweight subjects and 24.5% of the subjects with high (>85th percentile) % BF. After adjusting for age and gender, the odds ratios (95% CI) for elevated levels of CRP were 2.3 (1.1-4.7, P=0.02) for overweight subjects, 2.6 (1.2-5.4, P=0.01) for subjects with high % BF, and 3.7 (1.7-7.9, P=0.001) for subjects with high triceps skinfold thickness. Levels of CRP correlated significantly with % BF (r=0.13, P=0.009), W-HR (r=0.11, P=0.02), biceps skinfolds (r=0.13, P=0.01) and triceps skinfolds (r=0.13, P=0.01) for males only.
Conclusions: The observations of substantial prevalence of elevated CRP levels in adolescents and young adults having increased generalized and abdominal adiposity may be important for the development of metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis in Asian Indian adults.