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Relationship of Adiposity and Insulin Resistance Mediated by Inflammation in a Group of Overweight and Obese Chilean Adolescents

Marcela Reyes1*, Sheila Gahagan23, Erik Díaz1, Estela Blanco2, Laura Leiva1, Lydia Lera1 and Raquel Burrows1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

2 Division of Child Development and Community Health, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, USA

3 Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:4  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-4

Published: 14 January 2011


The mild chronic inflammatory state associated with obesity may be an important link between adiposity and insulin resistance (IR). In a sample of 137 overweight and obese Chilean adolescents, we assessed associations between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), IR and adiposity; explored sex differences; and evaluated whether hs-CRP mediated the relationship between adiposity and IR. Positive relationships between hs-CRP, IR and 2 measures of adiposity were found. Hs-CRP was associated with waist circumference (WC) in boys and fat mass index (FMI) in girls. Using path analysis, we found that hs-CRP mediated the relationship between adiposity (WC and FMI) and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (p < 0.05) in both sexes. Our novel finding is that inflammation statistically mediated the well described link between increased adiposity and IR.