Background: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a proinflammatory cytokine associated with obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, and atherosclerosis in adulthood. Few studies have been conducted in healthy young children. We aimed to investigate whether IL-6 levels are associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in healthy 4-year-old children.
Methods: From a prospective cohort study named Environment and Development of Children (EDC) cohort, a total of 421 singletons aged 4 years (232 boys) born as term and appropriate for gestational age infants were included for this study. We measured IL-6 levels and cardiometabolic risk factors including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP), triglycerides, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and insulin resistance (IR) after a 12-hour fast. The homeostatic model assessment (HOMA)-IR was calculated according to the formula: fasting insulin (mU/L) × fasting glucose (nmol/l)/22.5.
Results: Mean Z-scores of height, weight, and BMI were 0.36, −0.02 and −0.03, respectively. Mean IL-6 levels were 1.67 pg/ml. Mean systolic and diastolic BP was 96 mmHg and 52 mmHg, respectively. Mean levels of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol were 63 mg/dl and 53 mg/dl, respectively. Mean FPG was 89 mg/dL and mean HOMA-IR was 0.54. On univariate analysis, IL-6 levels were associated with higher systolic BP and lower HDL (P<0.05 for both). Higher systolic BP was significantly associated with higher IL-6 levels (P<0.05), weight gain during the first 4 years of life (P<0.05) and parental hypertension (P<0.05) after adjusting for sex, gestational age (GA), birth weight z-score, height z-score, BMI z-score, dietary sodium intake and physical activity. Additionally, lower HDL cholesterol was significantly associated with higher IL-6 levels (P<0.05), decreased dietary cholesterol (P<0.05) and age (P<0.05) after adjusting for sex, GA, birth weight z-score, weight gain during the first 4 years of life, BMI z-score, dietary fiber intake, physical activity, and parental hyperlipidemia.
Conclusions: IL-6 levels were independently associated with increased systolic BP and decreased HDL cholesterol in even healthy 4-year children, supporting the possible association between inflammation and unhealthy cardiometabolic changes from a young age.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology