Waist circumference is related to low-grade inflammation in youth

Int J Pediatr Obes. 2010 Aug;5(4):313-9. doi: 10.3109/17477160903497035.


Objectives: To examine markers of inflammation in 9- and 15-year-olds with high waist circumference and compare these with controls, and to examine the relationships between inflammatory markers and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of data from 2 299 Norwegian 9- and 15-year-olds participating in the "Physical activity among Norwegian Children Study". In each sex and age group, the 10 participants with the highest waist circumference (HW) were selected (n=40) for analyses, and a random sample of 40 participants within the same groups were included as controls. Inflammatory markers included C-reactive protein (CRP), leptin, adiponectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), resistin and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The CVD risk factors included blood pressure, glucose, insulin, triglycerides and high density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Results: HW participants had elevated levels of CRP (mean difference 1.50 mg/l; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33 to 2.66), PAI-1 (mean difference 13.3 ng/ml; 95% CI 4.1 to 22.5) and HGF (mean difference 0.29 ng/ml; 95% CI 0.07 to 0.51) compared with controls. All CVD risk factors differed between the HW group and controls. The CVD risk factors were not associated with TNFalpha or IL-6, but CRP, HGF and PAI-1 were related to the metabolic risk score.

Conclusions: Low grade systemic inflammation is already present in youth with high waist circumference. CRP, HGF and PAI-1 may be related to the adverse overall metabolic risk profile observed in these children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / blood
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Inflammation / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 / blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference*


  • Biomarkers
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • C-Reactive Protein