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.

Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio: A Predictor of Cardiometabolic Complications in Morbid Obese Girls

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory state. Childhood obesity is a multisystem disease, which is associated with a number of complications as well as potentially negative consequences. Gender is an important universal risk factor for many diseases. Hematological indices differ significantly by gender. This should be considered during the evaluation of obese children. The aim of this study is to detect hematologic indices that differ by gender in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 134 MO children took part in this study. The parents filled an informed consent form and the approval from the Ethics Committee of Namik Kemal University was obtained. Subjects were divided into two groups based on their genders (64 females aged 10.2±3.1 years and 70 males aged 9.8±2.2 years; p ≥ 0.05). Waist-to-hip as well as head-to-neck ratios and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. The children, whose WHO BMI-for age and sex percentile values were > 99 percentile, were defined as MO. Hematological parameters [haemoglobin, hematocrit, erythrocyte count, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, red blood cell distribution width, leukocyte count, neutrophil %, lymphocyte %, monocyte %, eosinophil %, basophil %, platelet count, platelet distribution width, mean platelet volume] were determined by the automatic hematology analyzer. SPSS was used for statistical analyses. P ≤ 0.05 was the degree for statistical significance. The groups included children having mean±SD value of BMI as 26.9±3.4 kg/m2 for males and 27.7±4.4 kg/m2 for females (p ≥ 0.05). There was no significant difference between ages of females and males (p ≥ 0.05). Males had significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios (0.95±0.08 vs 0.91±0.08; p=0.005) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration values (33.6±0.92 vs 33.1±0.83; p=0.001) compared to those of females. Significantly elevated neutrophil (4.69±1.59 vs 4.02±1.42; p=0.011) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios (1.70±0.71 vs 1.39±0.48; p=0.004) were detected in females. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in terms of C-reactive protein values (p ≥ 0.05). Adipose tissue plays important roles during the development of obesity and associated diseases such as metabolic syndrom and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). These diseases may cause changes in complete blood cell count parameters. These alterations are even more important during childhood. Significant gender effects on the changes of neutrophils, one of the white blood cell subsets, were observed. The findings of the study demonstrate the importance of considering gender in clinical studies. The males and females may have distinct leukocyte-trafficking profiles in inflammation. Female children had more circulating neutrophils, which may be the indicator of an increased risk of CVDs, than male children within this age range during the late stage of obesity. In recent years, females represent about half of deaths from CVDs; therefore, our findings may be the indicator of the increasing tendency of this risk in females starting from childhood.

Eosinophils and Platelets: Players of the Game in Morbid Obese Boys with Metabolic Syndrome

Childhood obesity, which may lead to increased risk for heart diseases in children as well as adults, is one of the most important health problems throughout the world. Prevalences of morbid obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are being increased during childhood age group. MetS is a cluster of metabolic and vascular abnormalities including hypercoagulability and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). There are also some relations between some components of MetS and leukocytes. The aim of this study is to investigate complete blood cell count parameters that differ between morbidly obese boys and girls with MetS diagnosis. A total of 117 morbid obese children with MetS consulted to Department of Pediatrics in Faculty of Medicine Hospital at Namik Kemal University were included into the scope of the study. The study population was classified based upon their genders (60 girls and 57 boys). Their heights and weights were measured and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Waist-to-hip and head-to-neck ratios as well as homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were calculated. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Hematological variables were measured. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p ≤ 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the ages (11.2±2.6 years vs 11.2±3.0 years) and BMIs (28.6±5.2 kg/m2 vs 29.3±5.2 kg/m2) of boys and girls (p ≥ 0.05), respectively. Significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios were obtained for boys (0.94±0.08 vs 0.91±0.06; p=0.023). Significantly elevated values of hemoglobin (13.55±0.98 vs 13.06±0.82; p=0.004), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (33.79±0.91 vs 33.21±1.14; p=0.003), eosinophils (0.300±0.253 vs 0.196±0.197; p=0.014), and platelet (347.1±81.7 vs 319.0±65.9; p=0.042) were detected for boys. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratios as well as HOMA-IR values (p ≥ 0.05). Statistically significant gender-based differences were found for hemoglobin as well as mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and hence, separate reference intervals for two genders should be considered for these parameters. Eosinophils may contribute to the development of thrombus in acute coronary syndrome. Eosinophils are also known to make an important contribution to mechanisms related to thrombosis pathogenesis in acute myocardial infarction. Increased platelet activity is observed in patients with MetS and these individuals are more susceptible to CVDs. In our study, elevated platelets described as dominant contributors to hypercoagulability and elevated eosinophil counts suggested to be related to the development of CVDs observed in boys may be the early indicators of the future cardiometabolic complications in this gender.