Differences in Cardiometabolic Biomarkers between Elementary School-Age Latinx Children with Obesity versus Healthy Weight

South Med J. 2023 Feb;116(2):188-194. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001506.


Objectives: Low-income Latinx youth are disproportionately affected by obesity, which results in an increased risk of cardiometabolic abnormalities. Biomarker tracking may be useful for the early identification of obesity comorbidities in young Latinx children. Hence, we aimed to compare cardiometabolic biomarkers between age- and sex-matched pairs of elementary school-aged Latinx children with obesity versus healthy weight.

Methods: This case-control study compared cardiometabolic biomarkers between 13 pairs of age- and sex-matched elementary school-age (median 6.5 years) Latinx children with obesity (body mass index for age ≥ 95th percentile) as compared with their healthy weight (between the 5th and 85th percentiles) counterparts. Anthropometric measures and a fasted venous blood sample were taken for the analysis of lipids, glycemic, inflammatory, endocrine, and hepatic markers. Group differences were tested by the Mann-Whitney U or χ2 test.

Results: Cases had higher insulin (P = 0.003), hemoglobin A1c (P = 0.002), triglycerides (P = 0.023), and C-reactive protein (P < 0.001) and lower high-density lipoprotein (P = 0.002). Hepatic markers were similar, with alanine aminotransferase elevated among both groups.

Conclusions: The aforementioned biomarkers may be more sensitive to higher adiposity risk in this young Latinx population; however, elevated hepatic markers may indicate an ethnic/genetic predisposition to abnormal liver function. Research should be replicated in a larger group to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Pediatric Obesity* / complications
  • Pediatric Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers