OBJECTIVES: To compare blood lipids, lipoproteins, apoproteins, fibrinogen, insulin and aerobic capacity in obese and non-obese Chinese Singaporean boys. To examine relationships between blood metabolites, body composition and aerobic capacity in these groups. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SUBJECTS: Forty Chinese Singaporean boys aged 13-15 y. Classified as obese (n=20) or non-obese (n=20) based on adiposity (fat mass/fat free mass): > 0.60 = obese, < 0.40 = non-obese. MEASUREMENTS: Body composition (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), waist circumference, peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak), serum concentrations of total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), total cholesterol/HDL-C, apoproteins Al and B, lipoprotein(a), insulin and glucose. Plasma concentration of fibrinogen. RESULTS: Obese boys had significantly (P < 0.01) higher (mean ± s.d.) concentrations of serum triacylglycerol (1.51 ± 0.65 vs 1.044 ± 0.34 mmol/l), serum insulin (24.1 ± 11.5 vs 12.34 ± 4.45 mU/l) and plasma fibrinogen (4.01 ± 0.54 vs 3.35 ± 0.76g/l) than non-obese boys. Within the non-obese group plasma fibrinogen concentration was significantly related to percentage body fat (r=0.546, P < 0.05). VO2 peak relative to body mass (ml/kg/min or ml/kg-0.67/min) was significantly (P < 0.001) lower in obese compared to non-obese boys but absolute VO2 peak (l/min), adjusted for fat-free mass via analysis of covariance, was higher in obese than non-obese boys (P < 0.01). Partial correlations revealed that none of the blood metabolites were significantly related to VO2 peak independent of body fatness. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity was related to elevated concentrations of serum triacylglycerol, serum insulin and plasma fibrinogen in Chinese Singaporean boys. These elevated concentrations did not appear to be associated with a lower aerobic capacity (independent of body fatness) in the obese.
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