The relationship of oxidative stress, adiposity and metabolic risk factors in healthy Black and White American youth

Pediatr Obes. 2014 Feb;9(1):43-52. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2012.00135.x. Epub 2013 Jan 7.


What is already known about this subject African Americans are disproportionately affected by obesity and other metabolic risk factors in comparison to White Americans. Increasing prevalence of obesity has been associated with concomitant increases in childhood hypertension, dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes. Oxidative stress is associated with obesity in both adults and children. What this study adds Oxidative stress is positively associated with total body fat and truncal fat, but not with body mass index (BMI) or BMI z-score in healthy youth. Oxidative stress is associated with diastolic blood pressure in African American but not in White American healthy youth.

Background: Oxidative stress is elevated in obese youth, but less is known regarding racial disparities in the relationship of oxidative stress with metabolic risk factors.

Objectives: To determine the relationship between oxidative stress and metabolic risk factors, adiposity, leptin, adiponectin and cardiovascular fitness (VO2PEAK ) in healthy African American and White American youth.

Methods: A marker of oxidative stress (F2 -isoprostane), validated markers of metabolic risk factors, fitness and body composition were measured in African American (n = 82) and White American (n = 76) youth (8-17 years old) recruited over a range of BMI percentiles (4th to 99th).

Results: F2 -isoprostane concentration was positively correlated with percentage body fat (r = 0.198) and percentage truncal fat (r = 0.173), but was not different between African American and White American males and females (P = 0.208). African American youth had significantly higher mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.023 and P = 0.011, respectively), body weight, BMI percentile and Tanner stage. After adjusting for gender, age, BMI and Tanner stage, African American youth varied from White Americans in the association of F2 -isoprostane with diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.047), but not with systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, VO2PEAK or homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (all P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Oxidative stress, as measured by urinary F2 -isoprostane concentrations, was positively associated with percent body fat and truncal fat in youth. Oxidative stress levels were similar among African American and White American youth. Among markers of the metabolic syndrome, a significant difference between African American and White American youth was demonstrated only in the association of oxidative stress with diastolic blood pressure.

Keywords: Adiposity; isoprostane; metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adiposity / ethnology*
  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Child
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • F2-Isoprostanes / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • F2-Isoprostanes
  • Leptin
  • Triglycerides

Associated data

  • GENBANK/DK007673