Inflammatory markers and bone mass in children with overweight/obesity: the role of muscular fitness

  • A Correction to this article was published on 29 October 2019



To examine which inflammatory markers are associated with bone mass and whether this association varies according to muscular fitness in children with overweight/obesity.


Plasma interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), epidermal growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF), and C-reactive protein were analyzed in 55 children aged 8–11 years. A muscular fitness score was computed. Bone mineral content (BMC) of the total body-less head (TBLH) and lumbar spine (LS) were assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.


IL-6 (β = −0.136) and VEGF (β = −0.099) were associated with TBLH BMC, while TNF-α (β = −0.345) and IL-1β (β = 0.212) were associated with LS BMC (P < 0.05). The interaction effect of muscular fitness showed a trend in the association of VEGF with TBLH BMC (P = 0.122) and TNF-α with LS BMC (P = 0.057). Stratified analyses by muscular fitness levels showed an inverse association of VEGF with TBLH BMC (β = −0.152) and TNF-α with LS BMC (β = −0.491) in the low-fitness group, while no association was found in the high-fitness group.


IL-6, VEGF, TNF-α, and IL-1β are significantly associated with bone mass. Higher muscular fitness may attenuate the adverse effect of high VEGF and TNF-α on bone mass.

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  • 29 October 2019

    A correction to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.


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This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Reference DEP2013-47540). This study took place owing to the additional funding from the University of Granada, Plan Propio de Investigación 2016, Excellence actions: Units of Excellence; Unit of Excellence on Exercise and Health (UCEES) and by the Junta de Andalucia, Consejeria de Conocimiento, Investigación y Universidades and the European Regional Development Funds (ref. SOMM17/6107/UGR). In addition, this study was further supported by the SAMID III network, RETICS, funded by the PN I + D + I 2017-2021 (Spain), ISCIII- Sub-Directorate General for Research Assessment and Promotion and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (Ref. RD16/0022). M.A.-R. is supported by a Predoctoral Research Grant from Universitat Jaume I (PREDOC/2015/13). J.M.-G. is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (FPU14/06837). C.C.-S. is supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (BES-2014-068829); and by the Government of Andalusian, Integrated Territorial Initiative 2014–2020 for the province of Cádiz (PI-0002-2017). A.P.-F. is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (FPU 16/02760). L.G.-M. is funded by Plan Propio de Investigación 2016 (Programa de Captación de Talento and Programa de Captación de Talento—UGR Fellows). This work is part of a Ph.D. thesis conducted in the Biomedicine Doctoral Studies at the University of Granada, Spain. Portions of this study were presented at Symposium EXERNET. Research in physical exercise and health: Exercise is medicine, October 19–20, 2018, Pamplona, Spain.

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J.J.G.-C. was involved in the data collection and analysis, and drafting the manuscript. C.C.-S., J.M.-G., A.P.-F., C.M.A., J.G.-V., J.M. and F.B.O. were involved in the study design, data collection, and critical revision. L.G.-M., E.U.-G. and F.B.O. takes responsibility for the integrity of the data analyses. L.G.-M., E.U.-G., I.L., J.J. and F.B.O. participated in the interpretation of the results and critical revision. M.A.-R. was involved in the manuscript preparation and critical revision. All authors have read and approved the final version of the submitted manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jose J. Gil-Cosano.

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Gil-Cosano, J.J., Gracia-Marco, L., Ubago-Guisado, E. et al. Inflammatory markers and bone mass in children with overweight/obesity: the role of muscular fitness. Pediatr Res 87, 42–47 (2020).

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