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Adenovirus Infection Linked to Childhood Obesity

Study finds that 78 percent of children with AD36-specific antibodies are obese

MONDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children are significantly more likely to test positive for antibodies to adenovirus 36 (AD36) than are non-obese children, according to research published online Sept. 20 in Pediatrics.

Charles Gabbert, M.D., of the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of 124 children, aged 8 to 18 years, to assess the relationship between AD36-specific antibodies and obesity in children.

Forty-six percent of the children were non-obese and 54 percent were obese. Overall, the researchers found that 15 percent tested positive for antibodies to AD36. Most of the children found to be AD36-positive were obese (78 percent), and positivity for AD36 was significantly more frequent in obese children (22 percent of obese children versus 7 percent of non-obese children). Among the obese children, those who were AD36-positive had significantly higher weight and body mass index, a larger waist circumference, and a larger waist/height ratio.

"Possibilities for this association include true causality, increased susceptibility to infection within obese children, and predisposition to persistent AD36-specific antibodies after infection," the authors write.

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