Stress and body mass index each contributes independently to tumor necrosis factor-alpha production in prepubescent Latino children.

University of Miami Behavioral Medicine Research Center, c/o VA Medical Center, Miami, FL, USA.
Journal of pediatric nursing (Impact Factor: 0.92). 10/2009; 24(5):378-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2008.02.034
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This investigation extended prior work by determining if stress and body mass index (BMI) contributed independently to tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels among prepubescent Latino children and if sex and family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) modified these relationships. Data were collected in South Florida from 112 nondiabetic school-aged Hispanic children, of whom 43.8% were obese (BMI >/= 95th percentile) and 51.8% presented with a family history of T2DM. Stressful life events were assessed via parental report using a life events scale. Plasma TNF-alpha levels were determined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The relative contributions of stress and BMI with TNF-alpha levels and the potential interaction effects of sex and family history of T2DM were analyzed with multiple linear regression analyses. Stress and BMI each accounted for a significant proportion of the unique variance associated with TNF-alpha. The association between stress and TNF-alpha was not modified by sex or family history of T2DM. These findings implicate BMI and stress as independent determinants of TNF-alpha (an inflammatory cytokine and adipocytokine) among Latino children. Future investigations should examine the potential roles of exercise, nutritional status, age, and growth hormone in explicating the relationship between TNF-alpha production and psychosocial distress and risk for infection among obese children.

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