Pediatric Original Article | Published:

Cross-sectional population associations between detailed adiposity measures and C-reactive protein levels at age 6 years: the Generation R Study

International Journal of Obesity volume 39, pages 11011108 (2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

Objectives:

High body mass index is associated with increased C-reactive protein levels in childhood and adulthood. Little is known about the associations of detailed adiposity measures with C-reactive protein levels in childhood. We examined the associations of general and abdominal adiposity measures with C-reactive protein levels at school age. To gain insight into the direction of causality, we used genetic risk scores based on known genetic variants in adults as proxies for child adiposity measures and C-reactive protein levels.

Methods:

Within a population-based cohort study among 4338 children at the median age of 6.2 years, we measured body mass index, fat mass percentage, android/gynoid fat mass ratio and preperitoneal abdominal fat mass. We also measured C-reactive protein blood levels and defined increased levels as 3.0 mg l–1. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the weighted genetic risk scores were extracted from large genome-wide association studies on adult body mass index, waist–hip ratio and C-reactive protein levels.

Results:

All fat mass measures were associated with increased C-reactive protein levels, even after adjusting for multiple confounders. Fat mass percentage was most strongly associated with increased C-reactive protein levels (odds ratio 1.46 (95% confidence interval 1.30–1.65) per increase standard deviation scores in fat mass percentage). The association was independent of body mass index. The genetic risk score based on adult body mass index SNPs, but not adult waist–hip ratio SNPs, tended to be associated with increased C-reactive protein levels at school age. The genetic risk score based on adult C-reactive protein level SNPs was not associated with adiposity measures at school age.

Conclusion:

Our results suggest that higher general and abdominal fat mass may lead to increased C-reactive protein levels at school age. Further studies are needed to replicate these results and explore the causality and long-term consequences.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the participating children, their mothers, general practitioners, hospitals, midwives and pharmacies in Rotterdam. The Generation R Study is conducted by the Erasmus Medical Center in close collaboration with the School of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Municipal Health Service Rotterdam area, Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Homecare Foundation, Rotterdam and the Stichting Trombosedienst and Artsenlaboratorium Rijnmond (STAR), Rotterdam. We received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013), project EarlyNutrition under grant agreement no. 289346. VWV Jaddoe received an additional grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-VIDI 016.136.361). OH Franco works in ErasmusAGE, a center for aging research across the life course funded by Nestlé Nutrition (Nestec Ltd); Metagenics Inc.; and AXA. Nestlé Nutrition (Nestec Ltd); Metagenics Inc.; and AXA had no role in design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; and preparation, review or approval of the manuscript.

Author Contributions

LT, OG, JFF and VWVJ designed and conducted the research and wrote the paper. LT, OG and SV analyzed the data. RG, AH and OHF provided comments and consultation regarding the analyses and manuscript. LT, OG, JFF and VWVJ had primary responsibility for final content. All authors gave final approval of the version to be published.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    • L Toemen
    • , O Gishti
    • , S Vogelezang
    • , R Gaillard
    • , A Hofman
    • , O H Franco
    • , J F Felix
    •  & V W V Jaddoe
  2. Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    • L Toemen
    • , O Gishti
    • , S Vogelezang
    • , R Gaillard
    • , J F Felix
    •  & V W V Jaddoe
  3. Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    • L Toemen
    • , O Gishti
    • , S Vogelezang
    • , R Gaillard
    • , A Hofman
    • , O H Franco
    • , J F Felix
    •  & V W V Jaddoe

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Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to V W V Jaddoe.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2015.73

Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on International Journal of Obesity website (http://www.nature.com/ijo)