Weight Gain in Kids Connected with Reduced Hormone Levels

A Mayo Clinic led research identified that obese teenagers have reduced levels of a hormone possibly linked to weight management than teenagers of normal weights. The research is presented in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.1A_DNN_800x6744

Seema Kumar, M.D., Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, one of the study’s authors says:

“Our study is the first to evaluate levels of spexin in the pediatric population. Earlier study has identified decreased levels of this hormone in adults with obesity. Over-all, our results recommend spexin may perform a role in weight gain, beginning at an early age.

For kids and teens, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) at or over the 95th percentile for kids and teens of the same age and sex.

Obesity impacts around 17 % of U.S. kids, as per the Endocrine Society’s “Endocrine facts and Figures Report”. Childhood obesity is connected with a projected $14.1 billion in additional prescription drug, emergency department visit and out-patient visit costs every year.

The cross-sectional research examined spexin levels in 51 obese and 18 youngsters of normal weights between ages 12 and 18. The individuals had blood samples obtained between 2008 and 2010 as part of separate clinical studies.

Investigators analyzed the blood samples to evaluate spexin levels. Investigators divided up the teenagers into 4 groups dependent on their spexin levels. Among the individuals with the lowest levels of spexin, the odds of having obesity were 5.25 times greater than in the group with the highest levels of the hormone. Unlike what has been observed in adults, there was no connection between spexin levels and fasting glucose.

“It is noteworthy that we see like clear variations in spexin levels among obese and normal weight adolescents,” Kumar states. “Since this is a cross-sectional research, more study is required to discover the physiological importance of spexin, how it may be engaged in the development of childhood obesity, and whether it can be used to deal with or manage the problem.”

This study was backed by Mayo Clinic Center for Translational Science Activities (CTSA) Grant No. UL1 TR000135 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).