OBJECTIVE: To analyze the influence of obesity status on immune cell count and concentration of the hormones cortisol and leptin, in order to establish a relationship among the variables analyzed. METHODS: We recruited 27 obese [body mass index (BMI) ≥ 95th percentile[ and 21 non-obese (BMI ≤ 75th percentile) adolescent boys and girls, aged 15-19 years at the post-pubertal stage. BMI was calculated as body weight divided by height squared, and body composition was estimated by plethysmography in the Bod PodTM system. Blood samples were collected to analyze leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, platelets, cortisol, and leptin. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was performed, followed by the independent Student t test in case of normal distribution. Significance values were set at p < 0.05 and expressed as means ± standard deviation. The statistical package SPSS for Windows version 12.0 was used. RESULTS: There was no difference between obese and non-obese adolescents in terms of leukocyte, neutrophil, lymphocyte, monocyte and cortisol serum concentrations. The group of obese adolescents presented higher platelet and leptin concentrations (p < 0.01). The prevalence of hyperleptinemia was 25.92% in the obese adolescents (15.38% in boys and 35.7% in girls). CONCLUSIONS: Obese adolescents have higher platelet and leptin concentrations in comparison with non-obese adolescents. It was also found that obese girls presented a higher prevalence of hyperleptinemia than obese boys.
Adolescents; obese; non-obese; leukocytes; cortisol; leptin