The Mediating Role of Physical Inactivity on the Relationship between Inflammation and Artery Thickness in Prepubertal Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective

To analyze the relationship between inflammatory markers and the lipid profile, blood flow, and artery structure in prepubertal adolescents stratified according to sports practice.

Study design

The sample was composed of 120 adolescents (57 boys and 63 girls) with a mean age of 11.7 ± 0.7 years (ranging from 11 to 13 years). Intima-media thickness (IMT) and blood flow were measured with ultrasonography. The lipid profile and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were measured after the subjects had fasted for 12 hours overnight. Trunk fatness was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Organized sports participation was analyzed as a categorical variable. Biological maturation was determined via the age at peak height velocity.

Results

In the adjusted model, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was significantly related to high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (β = −5.797 [−11.500 to −0.093]), femoral IMT (β = 0.062 [0.008-0.116]), and the sum of femoral and carotid IMT (β = 1.107 [0.223-1.919]), but only in the group without sports participation. Slopes of the crude linear regression were greater in the group without sports participation for femoral IMT (t = 2.621; P = .009) and the sum of femoral and carotid IMT (t = 2.876; P = .004) when compared with the group with sports participation.

Conclusion

Independent of body fatness and biological maturation, inflammatory status was related to artery IMT and dyslipidemia in prepubertal adolescents, modulated by sport participation.

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