Inflammatory proteins and muscle strength in adolescents: the Avena study

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008 May;162(5):462-8. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.162.5.462.


Objectives: To examine the associations between inflammatory proteins and muscle strength and to determine whether this association varies between overweight and nonoverweight adolescents.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Participants: A total of 416 Spanish adolescents (230 boys and 186 girls) aged 13 to 18(1/2) years.

Main exposures: Muscle strength score was computed as the mean of the handgrip and standing broad jump standardized values. The adolescents were categorized as overweight (including obese) or nonoverweight according to body mass index. Body fat and fat-free mass were derived from skinfold thickness.

Outcome measures: C-reactive protein, complement factors C3 and C4, ceruloplasmin, and prealbumin levels.

Results: The results of the regression analysis showed that C-reactive protein, C3, and ceruloplasmin were negatively associated with muscle strength after controlling for sex, age, pubertal status, weight, height, socioeconomic status, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Moreover, C-reactive protein and prealbumin levels were associated with muscle strength in overweight adolescents after controlling for potential confounders, including body fat and fat-free mass.

Conclusions: Low-grade inflammation is negatively associated with muscle strength in adolescents. The patterns of these associations seem more relevant in overweight adolescents, suggesting that having high levels of muscle strength may counteract the negative consequences ascribed to body fat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Ceruloplasmin / analysis
  • Complement C3 / analysis
  • Complement C4 / analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoproteins / analysis*
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Prealbumin / analysis
  • Regression Analysis


  • Complement C3
  • Complement C4
  • Immunoproteins
  • Prealbumin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Ceruloplasmin