Serum Apelin and Obesity-Related Complications in Egyptian Children

  • Maged A. El Wakeel Child Health Department, Medical Division, National Research Centre, Cairo
  • Ghada M. El-Kassas Child Health Department, Medical Division, National Research Centre, Cairo
  • Alyaa H. Kamhawy Child Health Department, Medical Division, National Research Centre, Cairo
  • Essam M. Galal Child Health Department, Medical Division, National Research Centre, Cairo
  • Maysa S. Nassar Child Health Department, Medical Division, National Research Centre, Cairo
  • Elsayed Mahmoud Hammad Clinical Nutrition Department, National Nutrition Institute, Cairo
  • Salwa Refat El-Zayat Department of Medical Physiology, Medical Division, National Research Centre, Cairo
Keywords: Apelin, Obesity, Children, Metabolic syndrome


BACKGROUND: The rapidly increasing prevalence of childhood obesity became a major burden on health worldwide, giving an alarm to clinicians and researchers. Adipocytes act as an active endocrine organ by releasing plenty of bioactive mediators (adipokines) that play a major role in regulating metabolic processes. Apelin is a recently identified adipokine that is expressed in adipocytes.

AIM: The current work aimed to uncover the relation between serum apelin and childhood obesity and its related complications as hypertension and hyperglycemia

METHOD: A group of 50 obese and 31 non-obese; sex- and age-matched children were enrolled in our study with a mean age of (9.5 ± 2.1) and (8.7 ± 1.3) respectively. Anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, were assessed in all studied participants, we also determined the lipid profile, serum insulin, fasting blood glucose (FBG) level, HOMA-IR and serum apelin.

RESULTS: Obese children had higher levels of HbA1c, FBG, serum insulin, HOMA-IR, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP Z-score); compared to controls (all P < 0.05). Apelin was significantly higher in obese children versus controls and correlated positively with BMI Z-Score (P = 0.008), DBP Z-Score (P = 0.02), cholesterol, TG (both P = 0.02), serum insulin (P = 0.003), FBG and HOMA-IR (both P = 0.001). Linear regression analysis showed that FBG was the most effective factor in predicting the level of serum apelin (P = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: This work supports the hypothesis that apelin may have a crucial role in the pathogenesis of health hazards related to obesity in children including insulin resistance, hypertension and a higher risk of occurrence of metabolic syndrome.


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How to Cite
El Wakeel MA, El-Kassas GM, Kamhawy AH, Galal EM, Nassar MS, Hammad EM, El-Zayat SR. Serum Apelin and Obesity-Related Complications in Egyptian Children. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2018Aug.17 [cited 2020Nov.29];6(8):1354-8. Available from:
A - Basic Science