Background: Although the human adenovirus-36 (Ad-36) has been associated with obesity and related lipid disorders in the United States, this association has yet to be identified in other countries. Therefore, we tried to determine whether Ad-36 is associated with obesity or lipid disorders in Korean schoolchildren.
Method: A total of 318 Korean schoolchildren aged 6-15 years, who participated in the Ewha Womans University Obesity Research Study, were selected for a community-based cohort study. Non-obese and obese were defined as body mass index (BMI) <85th and > or = 95th percentiles of the Korean reference BMI-for-age curves, respectively, according to International Obesity Task Force definitions. The cutoff points for lipid disorders were modified from the age-modified standards of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)-Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III metabolic syndrome criteria. The Ad-36 antibody was measured using a serum neutralization assay.
Results: More obese participants than non-obese participants tested positive for the Ad-36 antibody (28.57 vs 13.56%, respectively; P = 0.0174). Within the obese group, the participants who tested positive for the Ad-36 antibody had higher levels of triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol than those who tested negative for the Ad-36 antibody (P<0.001). However, these associations were not present in the non-obese group. The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) for Ad-36 antibody positivity was greater in obese participants than non-obese participants (OR = 2.550, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.154-5.633). However, this OR seemed to be nonsignificant when age, sex and lipid variables were included in the analysis (OR = 1.752, 95% CI: 0.763-4.020). The unadjusted OR for the elevated TG was significantly higher in participants who were Ad-36 antibody-positive than those who were Ad-36 antibody-negative (OR = 2.511, 95% CI: 1.448-4.353). This trend remained constant even after adjustment for age, sex and obesity (OR = 2.328, 95% CI: 1.296-4.181).
Conclusion: Ad-36 seems to be strongly associated with lipid disorders in Korean schoolchildren regardless of obesity.