Anthropometric determinants of a clustering of lipid-related metabolic risk factors in overweight and non-overweight adolescents—influence of cardiorespiratory fitness. The Avena study

José L Mesa, Francisco B Ortega, Jonatan R Ruiz, Manuel J Castillo, Beatriz Tresaco, Francisco Carreño, Luis A Moreno, Angel Gutiérrez, Manuel Bueno
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 2006, 50 (6): 519-27

BACKGROUND/AIMS: To explore in adolescents the associations between simple anthropometric variables with a continuously distributed summary score for lipid-related metabolic risk in both overweight and non-overweight adolescents, and to test whether these associations are modified by the level of cardiorespiratory fitness.

METHODS: Cardiorespiratory fitness, BMI, skinfold thicknesses, body circumferences, and a continuously distributed clustering of lipid- related metabolic risk (calculated from LDL and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose) were measured in 524 adolescents (265 males, 259 females, 15.3 +/- 1.4 years) from the cross-sectional multicentric AVENA study. Participants were classified as overweight (including obesity) or non-overweight.

RESULTS: Most anthropometric parameters were univariately related to the continuous lipid-related metabolic risk. However, after multicollinear analysis and generalized linear modelling, suprailiac skinfold thickness in males (p < 0.001, explained variance 12.2%) and waist-to-height ratio in females (p < 0.001, explained variance 10.0%) were the best determinants of the continuous metabolic risk score, after adjustment for age, sexual maturation, and economic status. These associations were slightly weakened in overweight males (p = 0.034) and females (p = 0.087), and did not interact with cardiorespiratory fitness.

CONCLUSION: Our data emphasize the usefulness of suprailiac skinfold thickness in males and waist-to-height ratio in females as simple anthropometric measurements associated to an overall lipid-related metabolic risk, mainly in non-overweight adolescents and regardless their cardiorespiratory status.

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