Childhood obesity can prevent physicians from being able to properly interpret their routine blood tests. Studies have found that 24 routine blood tests can be affected by obesity, including:
- inflammation markers,
- lipids, and
- liver function.
Researchers evaluated 35 routine biochemical markers in serum samples like iron, magnesium, calcium, uric acid, phosphorus, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein. They converted waist circumference, BMI, and sex specific z-scores and grouped the children in normal-weight, overweight, and obese categories. The study found that 13 out of the 35 biochemical markers were different among different BMI categories. Some of these included GGT, cardio C-reactive protein, iron, transferrin, and HDL cholesterol. Waist circumference and BMI were related to serum concentration of 24 out of 35 markers. The most noticeable difference found among the various BMI’s was the uric acid results. The average among both males and females was 237 μmol/L, 261 μmol/L, and 270 μmol/L in normal weight, overweight, and obese. Research suggests that this may be due to immoderate adiposity is related to uric acid levels in a healthy population of kids, so it is important this be taken into account for obese kids. It is important for physicians to take this into account when interpreting routine lab results because they are often used for clinical decisions based off of a range derived from a healthy population. It is unknown whether childhood obesity is a marker for early disease, but it should definitely be taken into account when interpreting blood test results, as 70% of blood tests can be affected by obesity.