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High serum bilirubin lowers obesity risk in kids

20 Oct 2019

Serum bilirubin levels are inversely correlated with the risk of obesity in children, without increasing the likelihood of reduced IQ, a recent study has found.

The study included 28,489 infants, in whom serum bilirubin concentrations were measured using direct spectrophotometry or the diazo method. Measurements were collected as close to 48 hours as possible. Study outcomes were obesity and low IQ (<70) at 7 years of age.

A total of 2,406 participants were determined to have obesity, resulting an overall incidence rate of 8.45 percent.

Compared with infants who had total serum bilirubin (TSB) levels <3 mg/dL, the risk of obesity at age 7 years was lower in those with concentrations 3–6 mg/dL (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.91, 95 percent CI, 0.81–1.02), 6–9 mg/dL (adjusted OR, 0.88, 0.78–0.99) and 9–13 mg/dL (adjusted OR, 0.83, 0.71–0.98). This was untrue for those with TSB ≥13 mg/dL (adjusted OR, 1.04, 0.85–1.27).

Stratified analysis found that the concentrations of unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) shared a similar relationship with obesity risk. Relative to those with UCB <3 mg/dL, the risk of obesity at age 7 years was reduced in those with 3–6 mg/dL (adjusted OR, 0.93, 0.80–1.09), 6–9 mg/dL (adjusted OR, 0.86, 0.75–1.00) and 9–12 mg/dL (adjusted OR, 0.85, 0.73–0.99) UCB.

In contrast, levels of conjugated serum bilirubin showed a direct correlation with the likelihood of obesity, such that rising concentrations corresponded with increasing risks.

Moreover, higher TSB levels tended to increase the risk of low IQ at age 7 years, though none of the correlations achieved statistical significance. “Our findings may shed some light on investigations and interventions regarding the role of bilirubin in the prevention and treatment of obesity or obesity-related diseases,” said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 31 Dec 2019
Adding the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir to usual care speeds up recovery from influenza-like illness by a day compared with usual care alone, with even greater benefits seen in older, sicker patients with comorbidities, according to the ALIC4E study.
23 Dec 2019
At a Menarini-sponsored symposium held during the Asian Pacific Society Congress, renowned cardiologist Prof John Camm provided the latest evidence for chronic stable angina with or without concomitant diseases, with a special focus on the antianginal agent ranolazine and combination therapies. The event was chaired and moderated by Dr Dante Morales from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.
09 Jan 2020
Acute ischaemic stroke patients who are current or recent smokers are at greater odds of having unfavourable functional outcomes 3 months after the index event, a study has found.
Stephen Padilla, 3 days ago
Brodalumab has exhibited long-term efficacy and consistent safety profile for more than 2 years in the treatment of patients with psoriasis, results of the phase III AMAGINE-2 trial show.