Research Summary: Lean Body Mass, Interleukin 18, and Metabolic Syndrome in Apparently Healthy Chinese



We aimed to investigate how lean body mass is related to circulating Interleukin 18 (IL-18) and its association with metabolic syndrome (MetS) among apparently healthy Chinese.


A population-based sample of 1059 Chinese men and women aged 35–54 years was used to measure plasma IL-18, glucose, insulin, lipid profile, inflammatory markers and high-molecular-weight (HMW)-adiponectin. Fat mass index (FMI) and lean mass index (LMI) were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. MetS was defined by the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asian-Americans.


Circulating IL-18 was positively correlated with LMI after adjustment for FMI (correlation coefficient = 0.11, P<0.001). The association with the MetS (odds ratio 3.43, 95% confidence interval 2.01–5.85) was substantially higher in the highest than the lowest quartile of IL-18 after multiple adjustments including body mass index. In the stratified multivariable regression analyses, the positive association between IL-18 and MetS was independent of tertiles of FMI, inflammatory markers and HMW-adiponectin, but significantly interacted with tertile of LMI (P for interaction = 0.010).


Elevated plasma IL-18 was associated with higher MetS prevalence in apparently healthy Chinese, independent of traditional risk factors, FMI, inflammatory markers and HMW-adiponectin. More studies are needed to clarify the role of lean mass in IL-18 secretion and its associated cardio-metabolic disorders.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 18-March-2011

Author(s): Sun L., Hu F., Yu Z., Li H., Liu H., Wang X., Yu D., Wu H., Zhang G., Zong G., Liu Y., Lin X.


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