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Study Links Childhood Obesity to Inflammatory Markers

Even children without metabolic syndrome show significantly higher concentrations of markers

THURSDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children who have not yet developed features of the metabolic syndrome are likely to show abnormal markers of inflammation and prothrombosis, which could increase their later risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Nelly Mauras, M.D., of the Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and colleagues studied 203 children aged 7 to 18 years, including 115 obese children with normal fasting glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, and 88 lean controls.

Compared to controls, the researchers found that concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were about 10 times higher in obese children; and they also observed higher concentrations of fibrinogen, interleukin-6, and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1. The differences were consistent in both prepubertal and pubertal children, the authors note.

"These data support the need for more aggressive interventions in very young children with obesity regardless of the absence of associated co-morbidities," Mauras and colleagues conclude. "Further studies will determine if these abnormalities are reversible with early therapeutic interventions."

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