Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Lifestyle-related determinants of inflammation in adolescence

  • Julia Wärnberg (a1) (a2), Esther Nova (a1), Javier Romeo (a1), Luís A. Moreno (a3), Michael Sjöström (a2) and Ascensión Marcos (a1)...

Inflammatory processes are involved in the pathogenesis of the most common chronic non-communicable diseases and may also play an important initiating role in their development. Only recently have inflammatory markers been included in epidemiological studies focusing on nutritional status, body composition and physical activity. We are just starting to understand how different lifestyles can determine basal levels of inflammatory biomarkers in early ages. This review aims to summarise what is known about the relationships between lifestyle-related determinants (focusing on overweight, physical activity and dietary habits) and inflammatory markers in apparently healthy young populations. Obesity is the most widely studied determinant. Several large-scale studies have now demonstrated that healthy young subjects with more body fat or higher BMI have moderately higher concentrations of inflammatory markers than their leaner peers, supporting the idea that obesity should be considered as a state of chronic low-grade inflammation. Less data is available to allow us to elucidate how physical activity/fitness or dietary patterns may have a direct effect on inflammation in apparently healthy, disease-free young populations.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Lifestyle-related determinants of inflammation in adolescence
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Lifestyle-related determinants of inflammation in adolescence
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Lifestyle-related determinants of inflammation in adolescence
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Julia Wärnberg, fax: +34 91 549 36 27, email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1R Ross (1999) Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. Am Heart J 138, S419S420.

2GK Hansson (2005) Inflammation, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med 352, 16851695.

3MJ Jarvisalo , A Harmoinen , M Hakanen , U Paakkunainen , J Viikari , J Hartiala , T Lehtimaki , O Simell & OT Raitakari (2002) Elevated serum C-reactive protein levels and early arterial changes in healthy children. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 22, 13231328.

4PM Ridker , JE Buring , NR Cook & N Rifai (2003) C-reactive protein, the metabolic syndrome, and risk of incident cardiovascular events: an 8-year follow-up of 14 719 initially healthy American women. Circulation 107, 391397.

5PM Ridker , MJ Stampfer & N Rifai (2001) Novel risk factors for systemic atherosclerosis: a comparison of C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, homocysteine, lipoprotein(a), and standard cholesterol screening as predictors of peripheral arterial disease. JAMA 285, 24812485.

6TA Pearson , GA Mensah , RW Alexander , (2003) Markers of inflammation and cardiovascular disease: application to clinical and public health practice: A statement for healthcare professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association. Circulation 107, 499511.

9GS Hotamisligil (2006) Inflammation and metabolic disorders. Nature 444, 860867.

10R Weiss & S Caprio (2005) The metabolic consequences of childhood obesity. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 19, 405419.

12M Visser , LM Bouter , GM McQuillan , MH Wener & TB Harris (2001) Low-grade systemic inflammation in overweight children. Pediatrics 107, E13.

13JC Winer , TL Zern , SE Taksali , (2006) Adiponectin in childhood and adolescent obesity and its association with inflammatory markers and components of the metabolic syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 91, 44154423.

14J Warnberg , LA Moreno , MI Mesana & A Marcos (2004) Inflammatory mediators in overweight and obese Spanish adolescents. The AVENA Study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28, Suppl 3, S59–S63.

15ES Ford , DA Galuska , C Gillespie , JC Will , WH Giles & WH Dietz (2001) C-reactive protein and body mass index in children: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994. J Pediatr 138, 486492.

16DM Wu , NF Chu , MH Shen & SC Wang (2006) Obesity, plasma high sensitivity C-reactive protein levels and insulin resistance status among school children in Taiwan. Clin Biochem 39, 810815.

18T Reinehr , B Stoffel-Wagner , CL Roth & W Andler (2005) High-sensitive C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and cardiovascular risk factors before and after weight loss in obese children. Metabolism 54, 11551161.

19A Gupta , S Ten & H Anhalt (2005) Serum levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor 2 are linked to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in children. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 18, 75–82.

22DG Cook , MA Mendall , PH Whincup , IM Carey , L Ballam , JE Morris , GJ Miller & DP Strachan (2000) C-reactive protein concentration in children: relationship to adiposity and other cardiovascular risk factors. Atherosclerosis 149, 139–150.

23D Nemet , P Wang , T Funahashi , Y Matsuzawa , S Tanaka , L Engelman & DM Cooper (2003) Adipocytokines, body composition, and fitness in children. Pediatr Res 53, 148152.

24C Platat , A Wagner , T Klumpp , B Schweitzer & C Simon (2006) Relationships of physical activity with metabolic syndrome features and low-grade inflammation in adolescents. Diabetologia 49, 20782085.

25CR Isasi , RJ Deckelbaum , RP Tracy , TJ Starc , L Berglund & S Shea (2003) Physical fitness and C-reactive protein level in children and young adults: the Columbia University BioMarkers Study. Pediatrics 111, 332–338.

26AS Kelly , RJ Wetzsteon , DR Kaiser , J Steinberger , AJ Bank & DR Dengel (2004) Inflammation, insulin, and endothelial function in overweight children and adolescents: the role of exercise. J Pediatr 145, 731736.

28MJ Williams , BJ Milne , RJ Hancox & R Poulton (2005) C-reactive protein and cardiorespiratory fitness in young adults. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 12, 216–220.

30FB Ortega , JR Ruiz , MJ Castillo , LA Moreno , M Gonzalez-Gross , J Warnberg & A Gutierrez (2005) [Low level of physical fitness in Spanish adolescents. Relevance for future cardiovascular health (AVENA study)]. Rev Esp Cardiol 58, 898909.

31FB Ortega , B Tresaco , JR Ruiz , (2007) Cardiorespiratory fitness and sedentary activities are associated with adiposity in adolescents. Obesity (Silver Spring) 15, 15891599.

32JL Mesa , JR Ruiz , FB Ortega , J Warnberg , D Gonzalez-Lamuno , LA Moreno , A Gutierrez & MJ Castillo (2006) Aerobic physical fitness in relation to blood lipids and fasting glycaemia in adolescents: influence of weight status. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 16, 285–293.

34T Decsi , D Molnar & B Koletzko (1997) Reduced plasma concentrations of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene in obese boys. J Pediatr 130, 653655.

35D Molnar , T Decsi & B Koletzko (2004) Reduced antioxidant status in obese children with multimetabolic syndrome. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28, 11971202.

37RS Strauss (1999) Comparison of serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene in a cross-sectional sample of obese and nonobese children (NHANES III). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Pediatr 134, 160–165.

39C Chrysohoou , DB Panagiotakos , C Pitsavos , UN Das & C Stefanadis (2004) Adherence to the Mediterranean diet attenuates inflammation and coagulation process in healthy adults: The ATTICA Study. J Am Coll Cardiol 44, 152–158.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *