Objective: To investigate the relationship between serum concentrations of the cytokines C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and interleukin (IL)-6, and obesity and visceral adiposity.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of 100 Korean adults free from pre-existing inflammatory disease or cancer was performed. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and serum concentrations of CRP, TNF-alpha and IL-6 were measured. In 46 obese subjects, fat mass was assessed by bioimpedance analysis and abdominal fat distribution was determined by computerized tomography scan.
Results: Overall, serum concentrations of CRP, TNF-alpha and IL-6 were significantly correlated with weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio. In obese subjects, CRP and IL-6 were significantly correlated with BMI, waist circumference and visceral adipose tissue. Multiple regression analysis showed that CRP was significantly associated with BMI, whereas IL-6 was significantly related with visceral adiposity in obese subjects.
Conclusions: The positive associations of obesity and visceral adiposity with elevated cytokine levels suggest the importance of reducing obesity and visceral adiposity to prevent elevations in cytokine levels.