Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts
Background and Objective:
Recent studies have shown obesity tends to pre-date childhood asthma. While the pathways are not understood, inflammatory biomarkers are thought to play a role. The objectives are to assess serum levels of leptin and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in early childhood and investigate their associations with body mass index (BMI), respiratory symptoms, and allergy.
In a birth cohort of 181 Puerto-Rican babies born in New York City with a maternal history of inhalant allergy and/or allergic asthma, home/demographic characteristics and respiratory symptom questionnaires were administered every 6 months from birth through age 2 years. Children’s weight and height were measured and blood was collected at age 2. Serum was analyzed for leptin, hs-CRP, and allergen-specific sensitization. Obesity was defined as >95th percentile of BMI.
At age 2-years, median BMI percentile was 85%. Geometric mean leptin and hs-CRP concentrations were 2.66 (GSD = 1.7) and 0.30 (GSD = 7.5) ng/ml, respectively. Leptin was associated with obesity (OR = 2.4; 1.4–2.9). More girls had leptin levels above the median than did boys (60% vs 37%, P = 0.0061). At age 2 years, children in daycare were more likely to be obese (43% vs 26%, P = 0.03). While maternal birthplace was not significantly associated with the children’s leptin levels, Puerto Rican-born mothers were less likely to have children with hs-CRP above the mean (OR = 0.14, 0.02–1.10; P < 0.06) compared with women born on the U.S mainland. Leptin and hs-CRP levels were not significantly associated with sensitization to any of the measured inhalant allergens. Neither leptin nor hs-CRP levels were associated with asthma morbidity markers at age 2.
Leptin was positively associated with female gender, BMI and obesity. Children in daycare were more likely to have higher leptin levels. Maternal birthplace (Puerto Rico) was inversely associated with hs-CRP in children, but not significantly associated with leptin.
Funding acknowledgment for project: NIEHS R01 ES10922.