Introduction: Current evidence suggests that ghrelin could contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adults, but limited experience exists in adolescents. This study aims to explore the association of ghrelin levels with the MetS components among Iranian adolescents. Methods: In this case-control study, 32 adolescents with MetS and 148 healthy controls were selected randomly from the childhood and Adolescence Surveillance and Prevention of Adult Non communicable disease (CASPIAN-III) study. MetS was defined according to the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) criteria modified for children and adolescents. Anthropometric measures (including body mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC] and waist to height ratio [WHtR]), blood pressure (BP) and biochemical data (including fasting blood sugar [FBS], triglyceride [TG], high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C], total cholesterol [TC] and gerlin) were measured. Results: Total ghrelin level was significantly higher in students without MetS compared to those with MetS (748.89 ± 85.04 vs. 728.72 ± 90.36 [pg/mL]; P < 0.001). Significant negative correlations were seen between ghrelin levels and BMI, WC, WHtR, TG, and TC. Ghrelin had also relatively strong inverse correlations with FBS (r = -0.59, P< 0.001), LDL-C (r = -0.56, P < 0.001), and positive correlation with HDL-C (r = 0.60, P < 0.001). Compared with the children with MetS, in those without MetS, ghrelin was significantly associated with HDL-C and LDL-C. A decreasing trend was observed in the mean ghrelin level across increasing number of MetS components (P for trend <0.001). Conclusion: We observed a relationship between ghrelin concentration and MetS components in adolescents.
Keywords: Anthropometric Measures; Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Ghrelin; Metabolic Syndrome.