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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cobalamin, Folate and Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in Pediatric Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity is known to be associated with many clinically important diseases including metabolic syndrome (MetS). Vitamin B12 plays essential roles in fat and protein metabolisms and its cooperation with vitamin B9 is well-known. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible contributions as well as associations of these micronutrients upon obesity and MetS during childhood. A total of 128 children admitted to Namik Kemal University, Medical Faculty, Department of Pediatrics Outpatient Clinics were included into the scope of this study. The mean age±SEM of 92 morbid obese (MO) children and 36 with MetS were 118.3±3.8 months and 129.5±6.4 months, respectively (p > 0.05). The study was approved by Namık Kemal University, Medical Faculty Ethics Committee. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the parents. Demographic features and anthropometric measurements were recorded. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as MO. Components of MetS [waist circumference (WC), fasting blood glucose (FBG), triacylglycerol (TRG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-Chol), systolic pressure (SP), diastolic pressure (DP)] were determined. Routine laboratory tests were performed. Serum vitamin B12 concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin B9 was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Values for vitamin B12 < 148 pmol/L, 148-221 pmol/L, > 221 pmol/L were accepted as low, borderline and normal, respectively. Vitamin B9 levels ≤ 4 mcg/L defined deficiency state. Statistical evaluations were performed by SPSSx Version 16.0. p≤0.05 was accepted as statistical significance level. Statistically higher body mass index (BMI), WC, hip circumference (C) and neck C were calculated in MetS group compared to children with MO. No difference was noted for head C. All MetS components differed between the groups (SP, DP p < 0.001; WC, FBG, TRG p < 0.01; HDL-Chol p < 0.05). Significantly decreased vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 levels were detected (p < 0.05) in children with MetS. In both groups percentage of folate deficiency was 5.5%. No cases were below < 148 pmol/L. However, in MO group 14.3% and in MetS group 22.2% of the cases were of borderline status. In MO group B12 levels were negatively correlated with BMI, WC, hip C and head C, but not with neck C. WC, hip C, head C and neck C were all negatively correlated with HDL-Chol. None of these correlations were observed in the group of children with MetS. Strong positive correlation between FBG and insulin as well as strong negative correlation between TRG and HDL-Chol detected in MO children were lost in MetS group. Deficiency state end-products of both B9 and B12 may interfere with the expected profiles of MetS components. In this study, the alterations in MetS components affected vitamin B12 metabolism and also its associations with anthropometric body measurements. Further increases in vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 deficiency in MetS associated with the increased vitamin B12 as well as vitamin B9 deficiency metabolites may add to MetS parameters.

Evaluation of Vitamin D Levels in Obese and Morbid Obese Children

Obesity may lead to growing serious health problems throughout the world. Vitamin D appears to play a role in cardiovascular and metabolic health. Vitamin D deficiency may add to derangements in human metabolic systems, particularly those of children. Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of chronic and sophisticated diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate associations as well as possible differences related to parameters affected by obesity and their relations with vitamin D status in obese (OB) and morbid obese (MO) children. This study included a total of 78 children. Of them, 41 and 37 were OB and MO, respectively. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as MO. Those between 95 and 99 percentiles were included into OB group. Anthropometric measurements were recorded. Basal metabolic rates (BMRs) were measured. Vitamin D status is determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol [25- hydroxyvitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high-performance liquid chromatography. Vitamin D status was evaluated as deficient, insufficient and sufficient. Values < 20.0 ng/ml, values between 20-30 ng/ml and values > 30.0 ng/ml were defined as vitamin D deficient, insufficient and sufficient, respectively. Optimal 25(OH)D level was defined as ≥ 30 ng/ml. SPSSx statistical package program was used for the evaluation of the data. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. Mean ages did not differ between the groups. Significantly increased body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (C) and neck C as well as significantly decreased fasting blood glucose (FBG) and vitamin D values were observed in MO group (p < 0.05). In OB group, 37.5% of the children were vitamin D deficient, and in MO group the corresponding value was 53.6%. No difference between the groups in terms of lipid profile, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and insulin values was noted. There was a severe statistical significance between FBG values of the groups (p < 0.001). Important correlations between BMI, waist C, hip C, neck C and both SBP as well as DBP were found in OB group. In MO group, correlations only with SBP were obtained. In a similar manner, in OB group, correlations were detected between SBP-BMR and DBP-BMR. However, in MO children, BMR correlated only with SBP. The associations of vitamin D with anthropometric indices as well as some lipid parameters were defined. In OB group BMI, waist C, hip C and triglycerides (TRG) were negatively correlated with vitamin D concentrations whereas none of them were detected in MO group. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the complications associated with childhood obesity. Loss of correlations between obesity indices-DBP, vitamin D-TRG, as well as relatively lower FBG values, observed in MO group point out that the emergence of MetS components starts during obesity state just before the transition to morbid obesity. Aside from its deficiency state, associations of vitamin D with anthropometric measurements, blood pressures and TRG should also be evaluated before the development of morbid obesity.

An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p

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.

Gender Differences in Morbid Obese Children: Clinical Significance of Two Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Indices

Childhood obesity is an ever increasing global health problem, affecting both developed and developing countries. Accurate evaluation of obesity in children requires difficult and detailed investigation. In our study, obesity in children was evaluated using new body fat ratios and indices. Assessment of anthropometric measurements, as well as some ratios, is important because of the evaluation of gender differences particularly during the late periods of obesity. A total of 239 children; 168 morbid obese (MO) (81 girls and 87 boys) and 71 normal weight (NW) (40 girls and 31 boys) children, participated in the study. Informed consent forms signed by the parents were obtained. Ethics Committee approved the study protocol. Mean ages (years)±SD calculated for MO group were 10.8±2.9 years in girls and 10.1±2.4 years in boys. The corresponding values for NW group were 9.0±2.0 years in girls and 9.2±2.1 years in boys. Mean body mass index (BMI)±SD values for MO group were 29.1±5.4 kg/m2 and 27.2±3.9 kg/m2 in girls and boys, respectively. These values for NW group were calculated as 15.5±1.0 kg/m2 in girls and 15.9±1.1 kg/m2 in boys. Groups were constituted based upon BMI percentiles for age-and-sex values recommended by WHO. Children with percentiles >99 were grouped as MO and children with percentiles between 85 and 15 were considered NW. The anthropometric measurements were recorded and evaluated along with the new ratios such as trunk-to-appendicular fat ratio, as well as indices such as Index-I and Index-II. The body fat percent values were obtained by bio-electrical impedance analysis. Data were entered into a database for analysis using SPSS/PASW 18 Statistics for Windows statistical software. Increased waist-to-hip circumference (C) ratios, decreased head-to-neck C, height ‘to’ ‘two’-‘to’-waist C and height ‘to’ ‘two’-‘to’-hip C ratios were observed in parallel with the development of obesity (p≤0.001). Reference value for height ‘to’ ‘two’-‘to’-hip ratio was detected as approximately 1.0. Index-II, based upon total body fat mass, showed much more significant differences between the groups than Index-I based upon weight. There was not any difference between trunk-to-appendicular fat ratios of NW girls and NW boys (p≥0.05). However, significantly increased values for MO girls in comparison with MO boys were observed (p≤0.05). This parameter showed no difference between NW and MO states in boys (p≥0.05). However, statistically significant increase was noted in MO girls compared to their NW states (p≤0.001). Trunk-to-appendicular fat ratio was the only fat-based parameter, which showed gender difference between NW and MO groups. This study has revealed that body ratios and formula based upon body fat tissue are more valuable parameters than those based on weight and height values for the evaluation of morbid obesity in children.

Laboratory Indices in Late Childhood Obesity: The Importance of DONMA Indices

Obesity in childhood establishes a ground for adulthood obesity. Especially morbid obesity is an important problem for the children because of the associated diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In this study, body mass index (BMI), body fat ratios, anthropometric measurements and ratios were evaluated together with different laboratory indices upon evaluation of obesity in morbidly obese (MO) children. Children with nutritional problems participated in the study. Written informed consent was obtained from the parents. Study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee. Sixty-two MO girls aged 129.5±35.8 months and 75 MO boys aged 120.1±26.6 months were included into the scope of the study. WHO-BMI percentiles for age-and-sex were used to assess the children with those higher than 99th as morbid obesity. Anthropometric measurements of the children were recorded after their physical examination. Bio-electrical impedance analysis was performed to measure fat distribution. Anthropometric ratios, body fat ratios, Index-I and Index-II as well as insulin sensitivity indices (ISIs) were calculated. Girls as well as boys were binary grouped according to homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index of 2.5, fasting glucose to insulin ratio (FGIR) of 6 and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) of 0.33 as the frequently used cut-off points. They were evaluated based upon their BMIs, arms, legs, trunk, whole body fat percentages, body fat ratios such as fat mass index (FMI), trunk-to-appendicular fat ratio (TAFR), whole body fat ratio (WBFR), anthropometric measures and ratios [waist-to-hip, head-to-neck, thigh-to-arm, thigh-to-ankle, height/2-to-waist, height/2-to-hip circumference (C)]. SPSS/PASW 18 program was used for statistical analyses. p≤0.05 was accepted as statistically significance level. All of the fat percentages showed differences between below and above the specified cut-off points in girls when evaluated with HOMA-IR and QUICKI. Differences were observed only in arms fat percent for HOMA-IR and legs fat percent for QUICKI in boys (p≤ 0.05). FGIR was unable to detect any differences for the fat percentages of boys. Head-to-neck C was the only anthropometric ratio recommended to be used for all ISIs (p≤0.001 for both girls and boys in HOMA-IR, p≤0.001 for girls and p≤0.05 for boys in FGIR and QUICKI). Indices which are recommended for use in both genders were Index-I, Index-II, HOMA/BMI and log HOMA (p≤0.001). FMI was also a valuable index when evaluated with HOMA-IR and QUICKI (p≤0.001). The important point was the detection of the severe significance for HOMA/BMI and log HOMA while they were evaluated also with the other indices, FGIR and QUICKI (p≤0.001). These parameters along with Index-I were unique at this level of significance for all children. In conclusion, well-accepted ratios or indices may not be valid for the evaluation of both genders. This study has emphasized the limiting properties for boys. This is particularly important for the selection process of some ratios and/or indices during the clinical studies. Gender difference should be taken into consideration for the evaluation of the ratios or indices, which will be recommended to be used particularly within the scope of obesity studies.