Inflammation, insulin, and endothelial function in overweight children and adolescents: The role of exercise

Aaron S Kelly, Rachel J. Wetzsteon, Daniel R. Kaiser, Julia Steinberger, Alan J. Bank, Donald R Dengel

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221 Scopus citations


To assess subclinical inflammation, fasting insulin, and endothelial function before and after exercise in overweight children and adolescents. Twenty-five children (body mass index [BMI] >85th percentile) were assessed for brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), nitroglycerin-induced dilation, C-reactive protein (CRP), lipids, glucose, insulin, oral glucose tolerance, body composition, aerobic fitness (peak oxygen uptake [VO 2peak]), and blood pressure. Twenty of these persons were equally and randomly assigned to either 8 weeks of stationary cycling or to a non-exercising control group. A baseline correlation was found between CRP and fasting insulin (r = 0.62; P <. 001), which remained significant after adjusting for baseline variables (r = 0.53; P <. 05). After 8 weeks, significant improvements were observed in the exercise group compared with the control group for VO 2peak (exercise group = 21.8 ± 2.1 to 23.2 ± 1.5 mL/kg/minute vs control group = 23.4 ± 1.6 to 20.9 ± 2.2 mL/kg/minute; P <. 05), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (exercise group = 1.02 ± 0.03 to 1.10 ± 0.04 mmol/L vs control group = 1.08 ± 0.07 to 0.99 ± 0.09 mmol/L; P <. 05), and FMD area under the curve (AUC) (exercise group = 746 ± 66 to 919 ± 94 %•sec vs control group = 731 ± 102 to 515 ± 73 %•sec; P <. 05). In overweight children and adolescents, CRP is independently associated with fasting insulin. Eight weeks of aerobic exercise improves fitness, HDL cholesterol, and endothelial function in this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-736
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by Minnesota Obesity Center Grant #: 1 P30 DK 50456-08 (D.R.K.), American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Grant #: 0315213Z (A.S.K.), and GCRC: M01-RR00400, General Clinical Research Center Program, NCRR/NIH.


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