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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2009 Jun;42(6):501-5.

Changes in the hormone and lipid profile of obese adolescent Saudi females with acne vulgaris.

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Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Acne vulgaris is a multifactorial disease affecting a majority of the adolescent population. The objective of this study was to test for a correlation between fasting serum lipid profiles and levels of testosterone, insulin, leptin, and interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) and the incidence of severe acne vulgaris in obese adolescent females. Four groups of adolescent females were studied: obese with acne, obese without acne, non-obese with acne, and non-obese without acne. Obese females with acne, compared to obese females without acne and non-obese subjects, had significantly higher serum triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein-B (apo-B) (mean +/- SD: 197 +/- 13.7 vs 171 +/- 11.5, 128 +/- 8.3 vs 116 +/- 7.7, 96 +/- 13.7 vs 85 +/- 10.3 mg/dL, respectively) but significantly lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apo-A1 levels (40 +/- 3.3 vs 33 +/- 3.5 and 126 +/- 12 vs 147 +/- 13 mg/dL). Serum testosterone, insulin and leptin levels were significantly higher in obese subjects with or without acne compared to non-obese females with or without acne (3 +/- 0.5 vs 2.1 +/- 0.47, 15.5 +/- 3.3 vs 11.6 +/- 3, 0.9 +/- 0.2 vs 0.6 +/- 0.15 nmol/mL, respectively). Serum IL-1b was significantly elevated in obese and non-obese subjects with acne compared to subjects without acne; in those without acne, these levels were higher in obese than non-obese subjects (2.4 +/- 0.2, 1.4 +/- 0.1 vs 1.8 +/- 0.12 and 1.3 +/- 0.11 pg/mL, respectively). Our results indicate that there is a relationship between obesity (BMI >27) and acne. By early recognition, the etiology and treatment protocol of acne may prevent unwanted conditions.

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