Obesity is known to be associated with a large number of long-term morbidities, and while in some cases the relationship of obesity and the consequences is clear (for example, excess weight and lower extremity orthopedic problems) in others the mechanism is not as clear. One common system of categorizing overweight in terms of the likelihood of negative consequences involves using the concept of "metabolic syndrome". We hypothesized that the development of a plasma protein profile of overweight adolescents with and without the metabolic syndrome might give a more precise and informative picture of the disease process than the current clinical categorization and permit early targeted intervention. For this paper, we used antibody microarrays to analyze the plasma proteome of a group of 15 overweight female adolescent patients. Upon analysis of the proteome, the overweight patients diverged from the nonoverweight female controls. Furthermore, the overweight patients were divided by the analysis into two population clusters, each with distinctive protein expression patterns. Interestingly, the clusters were characterized by differences in insulin resistance, as measured by HOMA. Categorization according to the presence or absence of the metabolic syndrome did not yield such clusters.
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