Relationship between Iron-Related Parameters and Soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor-Like Weak Inducer of Apoptosis in Obese Children

Iron is physiologically essential. However, it also participates in the catalysis of free radical formation reactions. Its deficiency is associated with amplified health risks. This trace element establishes some links with another physiological process related to cell death, apoptosis. Both iron deficiency and iron overload are closely associated with apoptosis. Soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) has the ability to trigger apoptosis and plays a dual role in the physiological versus pathological inflammatory responses of tissues. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of these parameters as well as the associations among them in children with obesity, a low-grade inflammatory state. The study was performed on groups of children with normal body mass index (N-BMI) and obesity. 43 children were included in each group. Based upon age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentile tables prepared by the World Health Organization, children whose values varied between 85 and 15 were included in N-BMI group. Children, whose BMI percentile values were between 99 and 95, comprised obese (OB) group. Institutional ethical committee approval and informed consent forms were taken prior to the study. Anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist circumference, hip circumference, head circumference, neck circumference) and blood pressure values (systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure) were recorded. Routine biochemical analyses, including serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation percent (Tf Sat %) and ferritin, were performed. sTWEAK levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. study data were evaluated using appropriate statistical tests performed by the statistical program SPSS. Serum iron levels were 91 ± 34 mcrg/dl and 75 ± 31 mcrg/dl in N-BMI and OB children, respectively. The corresponding values for TIBC, Tf Sat %, ferritin were 265 mcrg/dl vs. 299 mcrg/dl, 37.2 ± 19.1% vs. 26.7 ± 14.6%, and 41 ± 25 ng/ml vs 44 ± 26 ng/ml. In N-BMI and OB groups, sTWEAK concentrations were measured as 351 ng/L and 325 ng/L, respectively (p > 0.05). Correlation analysis revealed significant associations between sTWEAK levels and iron related parameters (p < 0.05) except ferritin. In conclusion, iron contributes to apoptosis. Children with iron deficiency have decreased apoptosis rate in comparison with that of healthy children. sTWEAK is an inducer of apoptosis. OB children had lower levels of both iron and sTWEAK. Low levels of sTWEAK are associated with several types of cancers and poor survival. Although iron deficiency state was not observed in this study, the correlations detected between decreased sTWEAK and decreased iron as well as Tf Sat % values were valuable findings, which point out decreased apoptosis. This may induce a proinflammatory state, potentially leading to malignancies in the future lives of OB children.

The Evaluation of New Generation Cardiovascular Risk Markers in Childhood Obesity

Obesity, as excessive fat accumulation in the body, is a global health problem. The prevalence of obesity and its complications increase due to easy access to high-energy food and decreased physical activity. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) constitute a significant part of obesity-related morbidity and mortality. Since the effects of obesity on cardiovascular system may start during childhood without clinical findings, elucidating the mechanisms of cardiovascular changes associated with childhood obesity became more important. In this study, we aimed to investigate some biochemical parameters which may be involved in obesity-related pathologic processes of CVDs. One hundred and seventy-seven children were included in the study, and they were divided into four groups based upon WHO criteria and presence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS): children with normal-BMI, obesity, morbid obesity, and MetS. High-sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT), cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C), trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer (sTWEAK), chromogranin A (CgA), multimerin-2 levels, and other biochemical parameters were measured in serum samples. Anthropometric measurements and clinical findings of the children were recorded. Statistical analyses were performed. Children with normal-BMI had significantly higher CgA levels than children with obesity, morbid obesity, and MetS (p < 0.05). Cardiac MyBP-C levels of children with MetS were significantly higher than of children with normal-BMI and OB children (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in hs-cTnT, sTWEAK, TMAO and multimerin-2 between the groups (p>0.05). These results suggested that cMyBP-C and CgA molecules may be involved in the pathogenesis of obesity-related CVDs.

Associations among Fetuin A, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Children with Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity is a disease with an ever-increasing prevalence throughout the world. The metabolic network associated with obesity is very complicated. In metabolic syndrome (MetS), it becomes even more difficult to understand. Within this context, hormones, cytokines, and many others participate in this complex matrix. The collaboration among all of these parameters is a matter of great wonder. Cortisol, as a stress hormone, is closely associated with obesity. Thyroid hormones are involved in the regulation of energy as well as glucose metabolism with all of its associates. Fetuin A has been known for years; however, the involvement of this parameter in obesity discussions is rather new. Recently, it has been defined as one of the new generation markers of obesity. In this study, the aim was to introduce complex interactions among all to be able to make clear comparisons, at least for a part of this complicated matter. Morbid obese (MO) children participated in the study. Two groups with 46 MO children and 43 with MetS were constituted. All children included in the study were above 99th age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles according to World Health Organization criteria. Forty-three morbid obese children in the second group also had MetS components. Informed consent forms were filled by the parents of the participants. The institutional ethics committee has given approval for the study protocol. Data as well as the findings of the study were evaluated from a statistical point of view. Two groups were matched for their age and gender compositions. Significantly higher body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, thyrotropin, and insulin values were observed in the MetS group. Triiodothyronine concentrations did not differ between the groups. Elevated levels for thyroxin, cortisol, and fetuin-A were detected in the MetS group compared to the first group (p > 0.05). In MO MetS- group, cortisol was correlated with thyroxin and fetuin-A (p < 0.05). In the MO MetS+ group, none of these correlations were present. Instead, a correlation between cortisol and thyrotropin was found (p < 0.05). In conclusion, findings have shown that cortisol was the key player in severely obese children. The association of this hormone with the participants of thyroid hormone metabolism was quite important. The lack of association with fetuin A in the morbid obese MetS+ group has suggested the possible interference of MetS components in the behavior of this new generation obesity marker. The most remarkable finding of the study was the unique correlation between cortisol and thyrotropin in the morbid obese MetS+ group, suggesting that thyrotropin may serve as a target along with cortisol in the morbid obese MetS+ group. This association may deserve specific attention during the development of remedies against MetS in the pediatric population.

Relationship between Hepatokines and Insulin Resistance in Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is an important clinical problem, because it may lead to chronic diseases during the adulthood period of the individual. Obesity is a metabolic disease associated with low-grade inflammation. The liver occurs at the center of metabolic pathways. Adropin, fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) and fetuin A are hepatokines. Due to the immense participation of the liver in glucose metabolism, these liver derived factors may be associated with insulin resistance (IR), which is a phenomenon discussed within the scope of obesity problems. The aim of this study is to determine the concentrations of adropin, FGF-21 and fetuin A in childhood obesity, to point out possible differences between the obesity groups and to investigate possible associations among these three hepatokines in obese and morbid obese children. A total of 132 children were included in the study. Two obese groups were constituted. The groups were matched in terms of mean±SD values of ages. Body mass index values of the obese and morbid obese groups were 25.0±3.5 kg/m2 and 29.8±5.7 kg/m2, respectively. Anthropometric measurements including waist circumference, hip circumference, head circumference, and neck circumference were recorded. Informed consent forms were taken from the parents of the participants and the Ethics Committee of the institution approved the study protocol. Blood samples were obtained after an overnight fasting. Routine biochemical tests including glucose- and lipid-related parameters were performed. Concentrations of the hepatokines (adropin, FGF-21, fetuin A) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Insulin resistance indices such as homeostasis model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory index, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment metabolic syndrome index as well as obesity indices such as diagnostic obesity notation model assessment-II index, and fat mass index were calculated using the previously derived formulas. Statistical evaluation of the study data as well as findings of the study were performed by SPSS for Windows. Statistical difference was accepted significant when p < 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found for insulin, triglyceride, high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of the groups. A significant increase was observed for FGF-21 concentrations in the morbid obese group. Higher adropin and fetuin A concentrations were observed in the same group in comparison with the values detected in the obese group (p > 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the ALT/AST values of the groups. In all of the remaining IR and obesity indices, significantly increased values were calculated for morbid obese children. Significant correlations were detected between HOMA-IR and each of the hepatokines. The highest one was the association with fetuin A (r = 0.373, p = 0.001). In conclusion, increased levels observed in adropin, FGF-21 and fetuin A have shown that these hepatokines possess increasing potential going from the obese to morbid obese state. Out of the correlations found with IR index, the most affected hepatokine was fetuin A, the parameter possibly used as the indicator of the advanced obesity stage.

The Association of Vitamin B₁₂ with Body Weight-and Fat-Based Indices in Childhood Obesity

Vitamin deficiencies are common in obese individuals. Particularly, the status of vitamin B12 and its association with vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin D is under investigation in recent time. Vitamin B12 is closely related to many vital processes in the body. In clinical studies, its involvement in fat metabolism draws attention from the obesity point of view. Obesity, in its advanced stages and in combination with metabolic syndrome (MetS) findings, may be a life-threatening health problem. Pediatric obesity is particularly important, because it may be a predictor of the severe chronic diseases during adulthood period of the child. Due to its role in fat metabolism, vitamin B12 deficiency may disrupt metabolic pathways of the lipid and energy metabolisms in the body. The association of low B12 levels with obesity degree may be an interesting topic to be investigated. Obesity indices may be helpful at this point. Weight- and fat-based indices are available. Of them, body mass index (BMI) is in the first group. Fat mass index (FMI), fat-free mass index (FFMI) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment-II (D2I) index lie in the latter group. The aim of this study is to clarify possible associations between vitamin B12 status and obesity indices in pediatric population. The study comprises a total of 122 children. 32 children were included in the normal-body mass index (N-BMI) group. 46 and 44 children constitute groups with morbid obese children without MetS and with MetS, respectively. Informed consent forms and the approval of the institutional ethics committee were obtained. Tables prepared for obesity classification by World Health Organization were used. MetS criteria were defined. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were taken. BMI, FMI, FFMI, D2I were calculated. Routine laboratory tests were performed. Vitamin B9, B12, D concentrations were determined. Statistical evaluation of the study data was performed. Vitamin B9 and vitamin D levels were reduced in MetS group compared to children with N-BMI (p > 0.05). Significantly lower values were observed in vitamin B12 concentrations of MetS group (p < 0.01). Upon evaluation of blood pressure as well as triglyceride levels, there exist significant increases in morbid obese children. Significantly decreased concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were observed. All of the obesity indices and insulin resistance index exhibit increasing tendency with the severity of obesity. Inverse correlations were calculated between vitamin D and insulin resistance index as well as vitamin B12 and D2I in morbid obese groups. In conclusion, a fat-based index, D2I, was the most prominent body index, which shows strong correlation with vitamin B12 concentrations in the late stage of obesity in children. A negative correlation between these two parameters was a confirmative finding related to the association between vitamin B12 and obesity degree. 

Spexin and Fetuin A in Morbid Obese Children

Spexin, expressed in the central nervous system, has attracted much interest in feeding behavior, obesity, diabetes, energy metabolism and cardiovascular functions. Fetuin A is known as the negative acute phase reactant synthesized in the liver. Eosinophils are early indicators of cardiometabolic complications. Patients with elevated platelet count, associated with hypercoagulable state in the body, are also more liable to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In this study, the aim is to examine the profiles of spexin and fetuin A concomitant with the course of variations detected in eosinophil as well as platelet counts in morbid obese children. 34 children with normal-body mass index (N-BMI) and 51 morbid obese (MO) children participated in the study. Written-informed consent forms were obtained prior to the study. Institutional ethics committee approved the study protocol. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used to classify healthy and obese children. Mean age ± SEM of the children were 9.3 ± 0.6 years and 10.7 ± 0.5 years in N-BMI and MO groups, respectively. Anthropometric measurements of the children were taken. BMI values were calculated from weight and height values. Blood samples were obtained after an overnight fasting. Routine hematologic and biochemical tests were performed. Within this context, fasting blood glucose (FBG), insulin (INS), triglycerides (TRG), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations were measured. Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values were calculated. Spexin and fetuin A levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data were evaluated from the statistical point of view. Statistically significant differences were found between groups in terms of BMI, fat mass index, INS, HOMA-IR and HDL-C. In MO group, all parameters increased as HDL-C decreased. Elevated concentrations in MO group were detected in eosinophils (p < 0.05) and platelets (p > 0.05). Fetuin A levels decreased in MO group (p > 0.05). However, decrease was statistically significant in spexin levels for this group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these results have suggested that increases in eosinophils and platelets exhibit behavior as cardiovascular risk factors. Decreased fetuin A behaved as a risk factor suitable to increased risk for cardiovascular problems associated with the severity of obesity. Along with increased eosinophils, increased platelets and decreased fetuin A, decreased spexin was the parameter, which reflects best its possible participation in the early development of CVD risk in MO children.

Hematologic Inflammatory Markers and Inflammation-Related Hepatokines in Pediatric Obesity

Obesity in children particularly draws attention, because it may threaten the individual’s future life due to many chronic diseases it may lead to. Most of these diseases including obesity itself altogether are related to inflammation. For this reason, inflammation-related parameters gain importance. Within this context, complete blood cell counts, ratios or indices derived from these counts have recently found some platform to be used as inflammatory markers. So far, mostly adipokines were investigated within the field of obesity. Metabolic inflammation is closely associated with cellular dysfunction. In this study, hematologic inflammatory markers and cytokines produced predominantly by the liver (fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) and fetuin A) were investigated in pediatric obesity. Two groups were constituted from 76 obese children based on World Health Organization criteria. Group 1 was composed of children, whose age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles were between 95 and 99. Group 2 consists of children, who are above 99th percentile. The first and the latter groups were defined as obese (OB) and morbid obese (MO). Anthropometric measurements of the children were performed. Informed consent forms and the approval of the institutional ethics committee were obtained. Blood cell counts and ratios were determined by automated hematology analyzer. The related ratios and indexes were calculated. Statistical evaluation of the data was performed by SPSS program. There was no statistically significant difference in terms of neutrophil-to lymphocyte ratio, monocyte-to-high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio between the groups. Mean platelet volume and platelet distribution width values were decreased (p < 0.05), total platelet count, red cell distribution width (RDW) and systemic immune inflammation index values were increased (p < 0.01) in MO group. Both hepatokines were increased in the same group, however increases were not statistically significant. In this group, also a strong correlation was calculated between FGF-21 and RDW when controlled by age, hematocrit, iron and ferritin (r = 0.425; p < 0.01). In conclusion, the association between RDW, a hematologic inflammatory marker, and FGF-21, an inflammation-related hepatokine, found in MO group is an important finding discriminating between OB and MO children. This association is even more powerful when controlled by age and iron-related parameters.

The Evaluation of Complete Blood Cell Count-Based Inflammatory Markers in Pediatric Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity is defined as a severe chronic disease characterized by a low-grade inflammatory state. Therefore, inflammatory markers gained utmost importance during the evaluation of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS), a disease characterized by central obesity, elevated blood pressure, increased fasting blood glucose and elevated triglycerides or reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) values. Some inflammatory markers based upon complete blood cell count (CBC) are available. In this study, it was questioned which inflammatory marker was the best to evaluate the differences between various obesity groups. 514 pediatric individuals were recruited. 132 children with MetS, 155 morbid obese (MO), 90 obese (OB), 38 overweight (OW) and 99 children with normal BMI (N-BMI) were included into the scope of this study. Obesity groups were constituted using age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization. MetS components were determined to be able to specify children with MetS. CBC were determined using automated hematology analyzer. HDL-C analysis was performed. Using CBC parameters and HDL-C values, ratio markers of inflammation, which cover neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (dNLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), monocyte-to-HDL-C ratio (MHR) were calculated. Statistical analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was considered as p < 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference among the groups in terms of platelet count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, monocyte count, and NLR. PLR differed significantly between OW and N-BMI as well as MetS. Monocyte-to HDL-C value exhibited statistical significance between MetS and N-BMI, OB, and MO groups. HDL-C value differed between MetS and N-BMI, OW, OB, MO groups. MHR was the ratio, which exhibits the best performance among the other CBC-based inflammatory markers. On the other hand, when MHR was compared to HDL-C only, it was suggested that HDL-C has given much more valuable information. Therefore, this parameter still keeps its value from the diagnostic point of view. Our results suggest that MHR can be an inflammatory marker during the evaluation of pediatric MetS, but the predictive value of this parameter was not superior to HDL-C during the evaluation of obesity.

The Potential Involvement of Platelet Indices in Insulin Resistance in Morbid Obese Children

Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.

Assessment of Obesity Parameters in Terms of Metabolic Age above and below Chronological Age in Adults

Chronologic age (CA) of individuals is closely related to obesity and generally affects the magnitude of obesity parameters. On the other hand, close association between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic age (MA) is also a matter of concern. It is suggested that MA higher than CA is the indicator of the need to improve the metabolic rate. In this study, the aim was to assess some commonly used obesity parameters, such as obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR, BMR-to-weight ratio, in several groups with varying differences between MA and CA values. The study comprises adults, whose ages vary between 18 and 79 years. Four groups were constituted. Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were composed of 55, 33, 76 and 47 adults, respectively. The individuals exhibiting -1, 0 and +1 for their MA-CA values were involved in Group 1, which was considered as the control group. Those, whose MA-CA values varying between -5 and -10 participated in Group 2. Those, whose MAs above their real ages were divided into two groups [Group 3 (MA-CA; from +5 to + 10) and Group 4 (MA-CA; from +11 to + 12)]. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to obtain values for obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR and BMR-to-weight ratio. The compiled data were evaluated statistically using a statistical package program; SPSS. Mean ± SD values were determined. Correlation analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The increase in BMR was positively correlated with obesity degree. MAs and CAs of the groups were 39.9 ± 16.8 vs 39.9 ± 16.7 years for Group 1, 45.0 ± 15.3 vs 51.4 ± 15.7 years for Group 2, 47.2 ± 12.7 vs 40.0 ± 12.7 years for Group 3, and 53.6 ± 14.8 vs 42 ± 14.8 years for Group 4. BMI values of the groups were 24.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2, 23.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 30.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2, and 40.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2 for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Values obtained for BMR were 1599 ± 328 kcal in Group 1, 1463 ± 198 kcal in Group 2, 1652 ± 350 kcal in Group 3, and 1890 ± 360 kcal in Group 4. A correlation was observed between BMR and MA-CA values in Group 1. No correlation was detected in other groups. On the other hand, statistically significant correlations between MA-CA values and obesity degree, BMI as well as BMR/weight were found in Group 3 and in Group 4. It was concluded that upon consideration of these findings in terms of MA-CA values, BMR-to-weight ratio was found to be much more useful indicator of the severe increase in obesity development than BMR. Also, the lack of associations between MA and BMR as well as BMR-to-weight ratio emphasize the importance of consideration of MA-CA values rather than MA.

Associations between Surrogate Insulin Resistance Indices and the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Children

A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.

Association of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor with Iron as well as Vitamin D, Folate and Cobalamin in Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome

The impact of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on cognition and functions of the brain is being investigated. Iron deficiency and deficiencies of B9 (folate) as well as B12 (cobalamin) vitamins are best-known nutritional anemias. They are associated with cognitive disorders and learning difficulties. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D are known and the deficiency state affects mental functions negatively. The aim of this study is to investigate possible correlations of MetS with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), iron, folate, cobalamin and vitamin D in pediatric patients. 30 children, whose age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles vary between 85 and 15, 60 morbid obese children with above 99th percentiles constituted the study population. Anthropometric measurements were taken. BMI values were calculated. Age- and sex-dependent BMI percentile values were obtained using the appropriate tables prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity classification was performed according to WHO criteria. Those with MetS were evaluated according to MetS criteria. Serum BDNF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum folate was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Serum cobalamin concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin D status was determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high performance liquid chromatography. Statistical evaluations were performed using SPSS for Windows, version 16. The p values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Although statistically insignificant, lower folate and cobalamin values were found in MO children compared to those observed for children with normal BMI. For iron and BDNF values, no alterations were detected among the groups. Significantly decreased vitamin D concentrations were noted in MO children with MetS in comparison with those in children with normal BMI (p ≤ 0.05). The positive correlation observed between iron and BDNF in normal-BMI group was not found in two MO groups. In THE MetS group, the partial correlation among iron, BDNF, folate, cobalamin, vitamin D controlling for waist circumference and BMI was r = -0.501; p ≤ 0.05. None was calculated in MO and normal BMI groups. In conclusion, vitamin D should also be considered during the assessment of pediatric MetS. Waist circumference and BMI should collectively be evaluated during the evaluation of MetS in children. Within this context, BDNF appears to be a key biochemical parameter during the examination of obesity degree in terms of mental functions, cognition and learning capacity. The association observed between iron and BDNF in children with normal BMI was not detected in MO groups possibly due to development of inflammation and other obesity-related pathologies. It was suggested that this finding may contribute to mental function impairments commonly observed among obese children.

Agreement between Basal Metabolic Rate Measured by Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and Estimated by Prediction Equations in Obese Groups

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is widely used and an accepted measure of energy expenditure. Its principal determinant is body mass. However, this parameter is also correlated with a variety of other factors. The objective of this study is to measure BMR and compare it with the values obtained from predictive equations in adults classified according to their body mass index (BMI) values. 276 adults were included into the scope of this study. Their age, height and weight values were recorded. Five groups were designed based on their BMI values. First group (n = 85) was composed of individuals with BMI values varying between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2. Those with BMI values varying from 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2 constituted Group 2 (n = 90). Individuals with 30.0-34.9 kg/m2, 35.0-39.9 kg/m2, > 40.0 kg/m2 were included in Group 3 (n = 53), 4 (n = 28) and 5 (n = 20), respectively. The most commonly used equations to be compared with the measured BMR values were selected. For this purpose, the values were calculated by the use of four equations to predict BMR values, by name, introduced by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations University (UNU), Harris and Benedict, Owen and Mifflin. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, post-Hoc Tukey and Pearson’s correlation tests were performed by a statistical program designed for Windows (SPSS, version 16.0). p values smaller than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Mean ± SD of groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for measured BMR in kcal were 1440.3 ± 210.0, 1618.8 ± 268.6, 1741.1 ± 345.2, 1853.1 ± 351.2 and 2028.0 ± 412.1, respectively. Upon evaluation of the comparison of means among groups, differences were highly significant between Group 1 and each of the remaining four groups. The values were increasing from Group 2 to Group 5. However, differences between Group 2 and Group 3, Group 3 and Group 4, Group 4 and Group 5 were not statistically significant. These insignificances were lost in predictive equations proposed by Harris and Benedict, FAO/WHO/UNU and Owen. For Mifflin, the insignificance was limited only to Group 4 and Group 5. Upon evaluation of the correlations of measured BMR and the estimated values computed from prediction equations, the lowest correlations between measured BMR and estimated BMR values were observed among the individuals within normal BMI range. The highest correlations were detected in individuals with BMI values varying between 30.0 and 34.9 kg/m2. Correlations between measured BMR values and BMR values calculated by FAO/WHO/UNU as well as Owen were the same and the highest. In all groups, the highest correlations were observed between BMR values calculated from Mifflin and Harris and Benedict equations using age as an additional parameter. In conclusion, the unique resemblance of the FAO/WHO/UNU and Owen equations were pointed out. However, mean values obtained from FAO/WHO/UNU were much closer to the measured BMR values. Besides, the highest correlations were found between BMR calculated from FAO/WHO/UNU and measured BMR. These findings suggested that FAO/WHO/UNU was the most reliable equation, which may be used in conditions when the measured BMR values are not available.

Evaluation of Bone and Body Mineral Profile in Association with Protein Content, Fat, Fat-Free, Skeletal Muscle Tissues According to Obesity Classification among Adult Men

Obesity is associated with increased fat mass as well as fat percentage. Minerals are the elements, which are of vital importance. In this study, the relationships between body as well as bone mineral profile and the percentage as well as mass values of fat, fat-free portion, protein, skeletal muscle were evaluated in adult men with normal body mass index (N-BMI), and those classified according to different stages of obesity. A total of 103 adult men classified into five groups participated in this study. Ages were within 19-79 years range. Groups were N-BMI (Group 1), overweight (OW) (Group 2), first level of obesity (FLO) (Group 3), second level of obesity (SLO) (Group 4) and third level of obesity (TLO) (Group 5). Anthropometric measurements were performed. BMI values were calculated. Obesity degree, total body fat mass, fat percentage, basal metabolic rate (BMR), visceral adiposity, body mineral mass, body mineral percentage, bone mineral mass, bone mineral percentage, fat-free mass, fat-free percentage, protein mass, protein percentage, skeletal muscle mass and skeletal muscle percentage were determined by TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. Statistical package (SPSS) for Windows Version 16.0 was used for statistical evaluations. The values below 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. All the groups were matched based upon age (p > 0.05). BMI values were calculated as 22.6 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 27.1 ± 1.4 kg/m2, 32.0 ± 1.2 kg/m2, 37.2 ± 1.8 kg/m2, and 47.1 ± 6.1 kg/m2 for groups 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Visceral adiposity and BMR values were also within an increasing trend. Percentage values of mineral, protein, fat-free portion and skeletal muscle masses were decreasing going from normal to TLO. Upon evaluation of the percentages of protein, fat-free portion and skeletal muscle, statistically significant differences were noted between NW and OW as well as OW and FLO (p < 0.05). However, such differences were not observed for body and bone mineral percentages. Correlation existed between visceral adiposity and BMI was stronger than that detected between visceral adiposity and obesity degree. Correlation between visceral adiposity and BMR was significant at the 0.05 level. Visceral adiposity was not correlated with body mineral mass but correlated with bone mineral mass whereas significant negative correlations were observed with percentages of these parameters (p < 0.001). BMR was not correlated with body mineral percentage whereas a negative correlation was found between BMR and bone mineral percentage (p < 0.01). It is interesting to note that mineral percentages of both body as well as bone are highly affected by the visceral adiposity. Bone mineral percentage was also associated with BMR. From these findings, it is plausible to state that minerals are highly associated with the critical stages of obesity as prominent parameters.

Importance of Macromineral Ratios and Products in Association with Vitamin D in Pediatric Obesity Including Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolisms of macrominerals, those of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, are closely associated with the metabolism of vitamin D. Particularly magnesium, the second most abundant intracellular cation, is related to biochemical and metabolic processes in the body, such as those of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. The status of each mineral was investigated in obesity to some extent. Their products and ratios may possibly give much more detailed information about the matter. The aim of this study is to investigate possible relations between each macromineral and some obesity-related parameters. This study was performed on 235 children, whose ages were between 06-18 years. Aside from anthropometric measurements, hematological analyses were performed. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to establish some obesity-related parameters including basal metabolic rate (BMR), total fat, mineral and muscle masses. World Health Organization body mass index (BMI) percentiles for age and sex were used to constitute the groups. The values above 99th percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Those between 95th and 99th percentiles were included into the obese group. The overweight group comprised of children whose percentiles were between 95 and 85. Children between the 85th and 15th percentiles were defined as normal. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) components (waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, triacylglycerol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure) were determined. High performance liquid chromatography was used to determine Vitamin D status by measuring 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol (25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D). Vitamin D values above 30.0 ng/ml were accepted as sufficient. SPSS statistical package program was used for the evaluation of data. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The important points were the correlations found between vitamin D and magnesium as well as phosphorus (p < 0.05) that existed in the group with normal BMI values. These correlations were lost in the other groups. The ratio of phosphorus to magnesium was even much more highly correlated with vitamin D (p < 0.001). The negative correlation between magnesium and total fat mass (p < 0.01) was confined to the MetS group showing the inverse relationship between magnesium levels and obesity degree. In this group, calcium*magnesium product exhibited the highest correlation with total fat mass (p < 0.001) among all groups. Only in the MetS group was a negative correlation found between BMR and calcium*magnesium product (p < 0.05). In conclusion, magnesium is located at the center of attraction concerning its relationships with vitamin D, fat mass and MetS. The ratios and products derived from macrominerals including magnesium have pointed out stronger associations other than each element alone. Final considerations have shown that unique correlations of magnesium as well as calcium*magnesium product with total fat mass have drawn attention particularly in the MetS group, possibly due to the derangements in some basic elements of carbohydrate as well as lipid metabolism.

Links between Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Children with Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity is a clinical state associated with low-grade inflammation. It is also a major risk factor for insulin resistance (IR). In its advanced stages, metabolic syndrome (MetS), a much more complicated disease which may lead to life-threatening problems, may develop. Obesity-mediated IR seems to correlate with the inflammation. Human studies performed particularly on pediatric population are scarce. The aim of this study is to detect possible associations between inflammation and IR in terms of some related ratios. 549 children were grouped according to their age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile tables of WHO. MetS components were determined. Informed consent and approval from the Ethics Committee for Clinical Investigations were obtained. The principles of the Declaration of Helsinki were followed. The exclusion criteria were infection, inflammation, chronic diseases and those under drug treatment. Anthropometric measurements were obtained. Complete blood cell, fasting blood glucose, insulin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) analyses were performed. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), systemic immune inflammation (SII) index, tense index, alanine aminotransferase to aspartate aminotransferase ratio (ALT/AST), neutrophils to lymphocyte (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte, and lymphocyte to monocyte ratios were calculated. Data were evaluated by statistical analyses. The degree for statistical significance was 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found among the BMI values of the groups (p < 0.001). Strong correlations were detected between the BMI and waist circumference (WC) values in all groups. Tense index values were also correlated with both BMI and WC values in all groups except overweight (OW) children. SII index values of children with normal BMI were significantly different from the values obtained in OW, obese, morbid obese and MetS groups. Among all the other lymphocyte ratios, NLR exhibited a similar profile. Both HOMA-IR and ALT/AST values displayed an increasing profile from N towards MetS3 group. BMI and WC values were correlated with HOMA-IR and ALT/AST. Both in morbid obese and MetS groups, significant correlations between CRP versus SII index as well as HOMA-IR versus ALT/AST were found. ALT/AST and HOMA-IR values were correlated with NLR in morbid obese group and with SII index in MetS group, (p < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, these findings showed that some parameters may exhibit informative differences between the early and late stages of obesity. Important associations among HOMA-IR, ALT/AST, NLR and SII index have come to light in the morbid obese and MetS groups. This study introduced the SII index and NLR as important inflammatory markers for the discrimination of normal and obese children. Interesting links were observed between inflammation and IR in morbid obese children and those with MetS, both being late stages of obesity.

Evaluation of the Weight-Based and Fat-Based Indices in Relation to Basal Metabolic Rate-to-Weight Ratio

Basal metabolic rate is questioned as a risk factor for weight gain. The relations between basal metabolic rate and body composition have not been cleared yet. The impact of fat mass on basal metabolic rate is also uncertain. Within this context, indices based upon total body mass as well as total body fat mass are available. In this study, the aim is to investigate the potential clinical utility of these indices in the adult population. 287 individuals, aged from 18 to 79 years, were included into the scope of the study. Based upon body mass index values, 10 underweight, 88 normal, 88 overweight, 81 obese, and 20 morbid obese individuals participated. Anthropometric measurements including height (m), and weight (kg) were performed. Body mass index, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II, basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio were calculated. Total body fat mass (kg), fat percent (%), basal metabolic rate, metabolic age, visceral adiposity, fat mass of upper as well as lower extremities and trunk, obesity degree were measured by TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. Statistical evaluations were performed by statistical package (SPSS) for Windows Version 16.0. Scatterplots of individual measurements for the parameters concerning correlations were drawn. Linear regression lines were displayed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The strong correlations between body mass index and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I as well as diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II were obtained (p < 0.001). A much stronger correlation was detected between basal metabolic rate and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I in comparison with that calculated for basal metabolic rate and body mass index (p < 0.001). Upon consideration of the associations between basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio and these three indices, the best association was observed between basal metabolic rate-to-weight and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II. In a similar manner, this index was highly correlated with fat percent (p < 0.001). Being independent of the indices, a strong correlation was found between fat percent and basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio (p < 0.001). Visceral adiposity was much strongly correlated with metabolic age when compared to that with chronological age (p < 0.001). In conclusion, all three indices were associated with metabolic age, but not with chronological age. Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II values were highly correlated with body mass index values throughout all ranges starting with underweight going towards morbid obesity. This index is the best in terms of its association with basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio, which can be interpreted as basal metabolic rate unit.

Understanding the Nature of Blood Pressure as Metabolic Syndrome Component in Children

Pediatric overweight and obesity need attention because they may cause morbid obesity, which may develop metabolic syndrome (MetS). Criteria used for the definition of adult MetS cannot be applied for pediatric MetS. Dynamic physiological changes that occur during childhood and adolescence require the evaluation of each parameter based upon age intervals. The aim of this study is to investigate the distribution of blood pressure (BP) values within diverse pediatric age intervals and the possible use and clinical utility of a recently introduced Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Tension (DONMA tense) Index derived from systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) [SBP+DBP/200]. Such a formula may enable a more integrative picture for the assessment of pediatric obesity and MetS due to the use of both SBP and DBP. 554 children, whose ages were between 6-16 years participated in the study; the study population was divided into two groups based upon their ages. The first group comprises 280 cases aged 6-10 years (72-120 months), while those aged 10-16 years (121-192 months) constituted the second group. The values of SBP, DBP and the formula (SBP+DBP/200) covering both were evaluated. Each group was divided into seven subgroups with varying degrees of obesity and MetS criteria. Two clinical definitions of MetS have been described. These groups were MetS3 (children with three major components), and MetS2 (children with two major components). The other groups were morbid obese (MO), obese (OB), overweight (OW), normal (N) and underweight (UW). The children were included into the groups according to the age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile values tabulated by WHO. Data were evaluated by SPSS version 16 with p < 0.05 as the statistical significance degree. Tension index was evaluated in the groups above and below 10 years of age. This index differed significantly between N and MetS as well as OW and MetS groups (p = 0.001) above 120 months. However, below 120 months, significant differences existed between MetS3 and MetS2 (p = 0.003) as well as MetS3 and MO (p = 0.001). In comparison with the SBP and DBP values, tension index values have enabled more clear-cut separation between the groups. It has been detected that the tension index was capable of discriminating MetS3 from MetS2 in the group, which was composed of children aged 6-10 years. This was not possible in the older group of children. This index was more informative for the first group. This study also confirmed that 130 mm Hg and 85 mm Hg cut-off points for SBP and DBP, respectively, are too high for serving as MetS criteria in children because the mean value for tension index was calculated as 1.00 among MetS children. This finding has shown that much lower cut-off points must be set for SBP and DBP for the diagnosis of pediatric MetS, especially for children under-10 years of age. This index may be recommended to discriminate MO, MetS2 and MetS3 among the 6-10 years of age group, whose MetS diagnosis is problematic.

Coalescence of Insulin and Triglyceride/High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Ratio for the Derivation of a Laboratory Index to Predict Metabolic Syndrome in Morbid Obese Children

Morbid obesity is a health threatening condition particularly in children. Generally, it leads to the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) characterized by central obesity, elevated fasting blood glucose (FBG), triglyceride (TRG), blood pressure values and suppressed high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. However, some ambiguities exist during the diagnosis of MetS in children below 10 years of age. Therefore, clinicians are in the need of some surrogate markers for the laboratory assessment of pediatric MetS. In this study, the aim is to develop an index, which will be more helpful during the evaluation of further risks detected in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 235 children with normal body mass index (N-BMI), with varying degrees of obesity; overweight (OW), obese (OB), MO as well as MetS participated in this study. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee. Informed consent forms were obtained from the parents of the children. Obesity states of the children were classified using BMI percentiles adjusted for age and sex. For the purpose, tabulated data prepared by WHO were used. MetS criteria were defined. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were measured. Parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms were determined. FBG, insulin (INS), HDL-C, TRG concentrations were determined. Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Laboratory (DONMALAB) Index [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] was introduced. Commonly used insulin resistance (IR) indices such as Homeostatic Model Assessment for IR (HOMA-IR) as well as ratios such as TRG/HDL-C, TRG/HDL-C*INS, HDL-C/TRG*INS, TRG/HDL-C*INS/FBG, log, and ln versions of these ratios were calculated. Results were interpreted using statistical package program (SPSS Version 16.0) for Windows. The data were evaluated using appropriate statistical tests. The degree for statistical significance was defined as 0.05. 35 N, 20 OW, 47 OB, 97 MO children and 36 with MetS were investigated. Mean ± SD values of TRG/HDL-C were 1.27 ± 0.69, 1.86 ± 1.08, 2.15 ± 1.22, 2.48 ± 2.35 and 4.61 ± 3.92 for N, OW, OB, MO and MetS children, respectively. Corresponding values for the DONMALAB index were 2.17 ± 1.07, 3.01 ± 0.94, 3.41 ± 0.93, 3.43 ± 1.08 and 4.32 ± 1.00. TRG/HDL-C ratio significantly differed between N and MetS groups. On the other hand, DONMALAB index exhibited statistically significant differences between N and all the other groups except the OW group. This index was capable of discriminating MO children from those with MetS. Statistically significant elevations were detected in MO children with MetS (p < 0.05). Multiple parameters are commonly used during the assessment of MetS. Upon evaluation of the values obtained for N, OW, OB, MO groups and for MO children with MetS, the [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] value was unique in discriminating children with MetS.

Evaluation of Systemic Immune-Inflammation Index in Obese Children

A growing list of cancers might be influenced by obesity. Obesity is associated with an increased risk for the occurrence and development of some cancers. Inflammation can lead to cancer. It is one of the characteristic features of cancer and plays a critical role in cancer development. C-reactive protein (CRP) is under evaluation related to the new and simple prognostic factors in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. Obesity can predict and promote systemic inflammation in healthy adults. BMI is correlated with hs-CRP. In this study, SII index and CRP values were evaluated in children with normal BMI and those within the range of different obesity grades to detect the tendency towards cancer in pediatric obesity. A total of one hundred and ninety-four children; thirty-five children with normal BMI, twenty overweight (OW), forty-seven obese (OB) and ninety-two morbid obese (MO) participated in the study. Age- and sex-matched groups were constituted using BMI-for age percentiles. Informed consent was obtained. Ethical Committee approval was taken. Weight, height, waist circumference (C), hip C, head C and neck C of the children were measured. The complete blood count test was performed. C-reactive protein analysis was performed. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p≤0.05. SII index values were progressively increasing starting from normal weight (NW) to MO children. There is a statistically significant difference between NW and OB as well as MO children. No significant difference was observed between NW and OW children, however, a correlation was observed between NW and OW children. MO constitutes the only group, which exhibited a statistically significant correlation between SII index and CRP. Obesity-related bladder, kidney, cervical, liver, colorectal, endometrial cancers are still being investigated. Obesity, characterized as a chronic low-grade inflammation, is a crucial risk factor for colon cancer. Elevated childhood BMI values may be indicative of processes leading to cancer, initiated early in life. Prevention of childhood adiposity may decrease the cancer incidence in adults. To authors’ best knowledge, this study is the first to introduce SII index values during obesity of varying degrees of severity. It is suggested that this index seems to affect all stages of obesity with an increasing tendency and may point out the concomitant status of obesity and cancer starting from very early periods of life.