Inflammation-sensitive plasma proteins are associated with future weight gain.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cross-sectional studies have associated obesity and other components of the so-called metabolic syndrome with low-grade inflammation. The temporal and causal relations of this association have not been fully explored. This study explored whether elevated levels of inflammation-sensitive plasma proteins (ISPs) (fibrinogen, orosomucoid, {alpha}1-antitrypsin, haptoglobin, and ceruloplasmin) are associated with future weight gain. Five ISPs were measured in 2,821 nondiabetic healthy men (38–50 years of age) who were reexamined after a mean follow-up of 6.1 years. Future weight gain was studied in relation to the number of elevated ISPs (i.e., in the top quartile). The proportion with a large weight gain (75th percentile >=3.8 kg) was 21.0, 25.9, 26.8, and 28.3%, respectively, among men with none, one, two, and three or more ISPs in the top quartile (P for trend 0.0005). This relation remained significant after adjustments for weight at baseline, follow-up time, height (at baseline and follow-up), physical inactivity (at baseline and follow-up), smoking (at baseline and follow-up), high alcohol consumption, and insulin resistance. The relations were largely similar for all individual ISPs. Elevated ISP levels predict a large weight gain in middle-aged men. This relation could contribute to the relation between inflammation, the metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

Several cross-sectional studies have reported positive correlations between body fatness and inflammation-sensitive plasma proteins (ISPs) and other inflammatory markers (1–4). Weight reduction in obese subjects has been associated with reduced inflammation (5–7). It has been proposed that proinflammatory cytokines formed in the adipose tissue, e.g., interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor-{alpha} (TNF-{alpha}), increase the hepatic synthesis of ISPs (4,8–10). However, the temporal and causal relations between obesity and elevated ISPs are incompletely understood. Even though inflammation is mainly considered an effect of obesity or weight increase, it also has been suggested that there could be a reverse relation, i.e., that inflammation could promote weight gain (11). A 3-year follow-up of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study reported that a large weight gain was more common in subjects with elevated fibrinogen, white blood cells, von Willebrand factor, or factor VIII, i.e., four putative markers of inflammation (12).

The Malmö Preventive Study cohort includes ~6,000 men with data on five ISPs (fibrinogen, haptoglobin, {alpha}1-antitrypsin, orosomucoid, and ceruloplasmin). Previous studies from this cohort have shown cross-sectional relations between ISP levels and BMI, blood pressure, and insulin resistance (1,13,14). Follow-up studies have shown that these proteins are associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases and an increased incidence of high blood pressure (15,16). The present study sought to explore whether these proteins predicted weight gain over a mean follow-up of 6 years.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2097-2101
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch