Adiposity as a full mediator of the influence of cardiorespiratory fitness and inflammation in schoolchildren: The FUPRECOL Study
Background and aims: Studies in the paediatric population have shown inconsistent associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and inflammation independently of adiposity. The purpose of this study was (i) to analyse the combined association of cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and (ii) to determine whether adiposity acts as a mediator on the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and hs-CRP in children and adolescents. Methods and results: This cross-sectional study included 935 (54.7% girls) healthy children and adolescents from Bogotá, Colombia. The 20 m shuttle run test was used to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness. We assessed the following adiposity parameters: body mass index, waist circumference, and fat mass index and the sum of subscapular and triceps skinfold thickness. High sensitivity assays were used to obtain hs-CRP. Linear regression models were fitted for mediation analyses examined whether the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and hs-CRP was mediated by each of adiposity parameters according to Baron and Kenny procedures. Lower levels of hs-CRP were associated with the best schoolchildren profiles (high cardiorespiratory fitness þ low adiposity) (p for trend <0.001 in the four adiposity parameters), compared with unfit and overweight (low cardiorespiratory fitness þ high adiposity) counterparts. Linear regression models suggest a full mediation of adiposity on the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and hs-CRP levels. Conclusions: Our findings seem to emphasize the importance of obesity prevention in childhood, suggesting that having high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness may not counteract the negative consequences ascribed to adiposity on hs-CRP.