Gender differences in TNF-α levels among obese vs nonobese Latino children

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25 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationships between TNF-α, obesity, and insulin resistance among prepubescent children. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting and subjects: Data were collected from 112 nondiabetic Latino schoolchildren from public schools in three South Florida communities. Of the enrolled participants, 43.8% were obese (BMI 95th percentile) and 51.8% presented with a family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). With one exception, all demonstrated normal glucose tolerance. Interventions: Plasma TNF-α levels were determined with enzyme-linked immunosorbance assay (ELISA). Homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) was calculated as an index of insulin resistance. Mean levels of TNF-α among obese vs nonobese children were compared with a one-way analysis of variance with two groups, and the association between TNF-α and HOMA-IR was assessed with a Pearson's correlation. Results: Higher circulating TNF-α levels were revealed among nonobese vs obese children. Nonobese girls demonstrated higher TNF-α levels than obese girls, whereas there were no significant differences for boys. There were no significant differences after stratifying for family history of T2DM. There was a modest relationship between increased TNF-α levels and decreased insulin resistance. Conclusions: The observed elevated circulating TNF-α concentrations among leaner participants may reflect an inflammatory process that has been associated with higher levels of physical fitness in both adults and prepubescent children. This effect may remain stronger for prepubescent girls, and the mechanism may be attenuated by the hormonal changes that occur with the onset of puberty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-699
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Children
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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