High Levels of Inflammatory Adipokines and C-reactive protein, and Minimal Changes in Immune Cells in Overweight and Obese Saudi Female University Students



Increased body weight affects the whole body including the immune response, and leads to a state of non-specific inflammation, which leads to increased incidence of inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between adiposity and the hematological profile, and serum concentrations of glucose, C-reactive protein (CRP), some pro-inflammatory [leptin, resistin, interlukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)] and anti-inflammatory (adiponectin) adipokines in 112 healthy Saudi female university students. Adiposity was determined using the body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and waist circumference (WC). The results showed that the mean total white blood cell counts were significantly higher for the high risk WHR group, and the mean platelet and red blood cell counts were higher for the obese/morbidly obese BMI group compared to the respective controls. The white blood cell types and hemoglobin did not show any significant differences. Mean serum CRP, leptin, resistin, and IL-6 concentrations were significantly higher for the obese/morbidly obese BMI and high risk WC subjects compared to the healthy weight subjects. The only significant difference for the WHR groups was a significantly higher mean resistin level for the moderate risk group compared to the control. Mean glucose, TNF-α and adiponectin concentrations were not significantly different among the groups. Thus, it may be concluded that the immune system cells and the hematological profile in subjects with high adiposity were minimally affected compared to the healthy weight subjects. They also had higher platelet counts, and CRP, leptin, resistin, and IL-6 concentrations, which are inflammatory effectors/markers, thus confirming that obese subjects had heightened inflammation and a higher risk for inflammatory diseases.