Fibroblast growth factor-23 in obese, normotensive adolescents is associated with adverse cardiac structure

Farah N. Ali*, Bonita Falkner, Samuel S. Gidding, Heather E. Price, Scott W. Keith, Craig B. Langman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Study design Cross-sectional data were obtained from a cohort of 130 normotensive, African American adolescents ages 13-18 years without chronic kidney disease; 74 were obese; 56 were normal weight. Plasma C-terminal FGF23, fasting glucose and insulin, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were measured; participants underwent M-mode echocardiography.

Objectives Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) is a biomarker for cardiovascular disease. Obesity may promote FGF23 production in the absence of chronic kidney disease. We sought to determine among normotensive African American adolescents whether FGF23 levels are greater in obese compared with normal-weight adolescents and to determine the relationship of FGF23 with markers of cardiac structure and insulin resistance.

Results FGF23 was skewed and approximately normally distributed after natural log transformation (logFGF23). FGF23 levels were greater in obese vs normal-weight participants (geometric mean 43 vs 23 RU/mL, P <.01). FGF23 values were significantly greater in participants with eccentric or concentric cardiac hypertrophy compared with those without hypertrophy P <.01). LogFGF23 directly correlated with body mass index, body mass index z-score, waist circumference, fasting insulin levels, and homeostasis model assessment scores. Regression models adjusted for age, sex, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein suggest that each 10% increase in FGF23 is associated with a 1.31 unit increase in left ventricular mass (P <.01), a 0.29-unit increase in left ventricular mass index (P <.01), and a 0.01-unit increase in left atrial dimension indexed to height (P =.02).

Conclusions In this sample of obese African American adolescents, FGF23 blood levels were associated with abnormal cardiac structure. We postulate that FGF23 may be an early marker of cardiac injury in obese but otherwise-healthy African American adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-743.e1
Journaljournal of pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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