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OBESITY AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IN SAUDI ARABIAN ADOLESCENT FEMALES Sawsan Hassan Mahassni, Rajaa Braik Sebaa

OBESITY AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IN SAUDI ARABIAN ADOLESCENT FEMALES

Sawsan Hassan Mahassni, Rajaa Braik Sebaa

International Journal of Biochemistry & Biotech Sciences 2012; 1(2): 1-16

Abstract

Obesity predisposes to many medical risks and is associated with weakened immune responses. In this study, the effects of overweight and obesity on the immune system of 100 Saudi female adolescents (12-18 years old) were investigated. To assess body weight and categorize the subjects, the body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and the waist circumference (WC) were used. Total and differential white blood cells (WBCs) counts and serum concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM and IgA were determined. Results showed highly significant increases in neutrophil, lymphocyte, and total WBCs counts for high BMI, WHR and WC. The eosinophil counts increased significantly as the BMI increased, but not the WHR and WC. The concentrations of the antibodies and the counts of basophils, and monocytes were not affected by increasing BMI, WHR, nor WC. Findings indicate that obesity affects the innate (WBCs, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and eosinophils) and acquired (lymphocytes) immune systems of the subjects. Results confirm previous findings that obesity is an inflammatory disease since inflammatory cells counts increased, which explains some health complications associated with obesity. Finally, the results proved that the immune system in obese Saudi adolescents is remarkably affected.

Key words: Body mass index (BMI), Immune system, Immunoglobulins, Saudi adolescent females, White blood cells (WBCs), Waist circumference (WC), Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)
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