A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism touts the value of looking at inflammatory biomarkers in determining risk in obese and non-obese adults. The study included an almost equal number of men and women ages 45-74 (n = 2047). Subjects were classified as obese (BMI ≥30) or nonobese (BMI <30) and were classified as being metabolically healthy or unhealthy based on blood pressure, lipids, and measures of insulin resistance. Once classified, biomarkers that included Interleukin-6, complement component 3, TNF-alpha, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, C-reactive protein and adiponectin were measured. Obese subjects who had normal levels of certain biomarkers of inflammation were 3.5 times more likely to be metabolically healthy. Dr. Catherine Phillips, lead investigator, states that “those at greatest cardiometabolic risk for whom appropriate therapeutic or intervention strategies should be developed” can be identified based on the metabolic-health phenotype used in the trial which included looking beyond traditional risk factors.
Reference: Phillips C, Perry IJ. Does inflammation determine metabolic health status in obese and nonobese adults? J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013; 98:E1610.