Longitudinal relationship between inflammatory markers in adolescents and childhood fatness, fitness and physical activity

Anna Bugge, Bianca El-Naaman Hermansen, Karsten Froberg, Robert G McMurray, Lars Bo Andersen

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearch


Low-grade inflammation may provide a mechanism linking obesity with cardiometabolic diseases and is also related to aerobic fitness (VO2max) and physical activity (PA). However, the longitudinal associations between these factors over the course of childhood and young adolescence are yet to be elucidated.
PURPOSE: To determine if fatness and exercise during childhood is related to level of inflammation during adolescence. METHODS: Subjects for this longitudinal study were 387, 6 year old children followed for 7 years, obtained from 18 schools near Copenhagen. Sum of 4 skinfolds (S4SF) was measured. PA was measured for four consecutive days (Actigraph). VO2max was directly measured. Fasting blood samples were analyzed for inflammatory markers. RESULTS: Significant correlations were found between S4SF at age 6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) level at age 13 for both boys and girls (r=0.330 and 0.293 respectively, p=0.0001). S4SF at age 6 was related to interleukin-6 (IL6) level at age 13 only for boys (r=0.165, p=0.019). Children in the highest tertile of S4SF at age 6 had an odds ratio of 3.68 (p=0.0001) being in the highest tertile of CRP at age 13, compared to the lowest tertile. VO2max at age 6 was inversely related to CRP level at age 13 only for girls (r=-0.172, p=0.025) and not significantly related to IL-6 in either sex (p>0.05). Conversely children in the two lowest tertiles of VO2max at age 6 had odds ratios of 1.83 and 1.97 (p=0.046 & 0.022, respectively) for being in the highest tertile of IL6 at age 13. No correlations were found between PA and any inflammatory markers, but children in the highest tertile of PA at age 6 had an odds ratio of 1.81 (p=0.042) being in the highest tertile of IL-6 at age 13. CONCLUSION: This study supports previous findings that fatness and VO2max are related to CRP; whereas, IL-6 only correlated to fatness in boys. Furthermore we found that children in the highest tertile of PA at age 6 had the greatest risk of being in the highest tertile of IL-6 at age 13, which emphasizes the controversial role of IL-6. Our results indicates that childhood levels of fatness and fitness impacts the level of some but not all inflammatory markers in adolescents, and therefore should be targeted in cardio vascular disease prevention strategies.
Supported by The Danish Heart Foundation

Original languageEnglish
Publication date3. Jun 2011
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3. Jun 2011
EventACSM Annual meeting 2011 - Denver, United States
Duration: 30. May 20114. Jun 2011


ConferenceACSM Annual meeting 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States

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