Relation between leukocyte count, adiposity, and cardiorespiratory fitness in pubertal adolescents

Thiago Ricardo dos Santos Tenório Breno Quintella Farah Raphael Mendes Ritti-Dias João Paulo Botero Daniel Calado Brito Patrícia Muniz Mendes Freire de Moura Wagner Luiz do Prado About the authors


To compare the total and differential leukocyte count in obese and normal-weight adolescents, and to verify their possible relations with cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity indicators.


A cross-sectional study conducted with 139 adolescents (107 obese and 32 normal weight) aged between 13 and 18 years. Cardiorespiratory fitness was determined by direct gas analysis during an incremental treadmill test. Total leukocytes and subsets were estimated by flow cytometry. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Thet-test for independent samples was used for comparison between groups. The relation between leukocytes, cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity indicators was verified by Pearson’s correlation and multiple linear regression (adjusted for age and body mass index) tests.


Obese adolescents had higher leukocyte (8.12±2.36u/L x 103; p=0.001), neutrophil (4.33±1.86u/L x 103; p=0.002), and monocyte (0.70±0.22u/L x 103; p=0.002) counts compared to the levels of normal weight subjects. After the necessary adjustments, cardiorespiratory fitness had a negative association with leukocytes, neutrophils, and monocytes in boys.


Obese adolescents had higher total and differential leucocyte count when compared to normal weight individuals. We also observed a weak positive association between adiposity and total leukocyte, monocyte, and neutrophil counts, and in boys, a negative association between cardiorespiratory fitness and total count of leukocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils.

Obesity; Adolescent; Leukocyte count; Adiposity; Physical fitness; Inflammation

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