Background: It has been reported that obesity is associated with higher levels of oxidative stress. We aimed to evaluate the hypothesis that pro-oxidant antioxidant balance (PAB) values could be affected by adiposity and to assess the association between PAB levels and indices of obesity.
Methods: Subjects (n = 733) were recruited and then were divided into 3 groups of normal-weight (BMI ≤ 25, n = 207), overweight (25 < BMI ≤ 30, n = 375), and obese (BMI > 30, n = 151). PAB values were measured in all participants.
Results: There was a significant association between PAB values and weight when the correlation was determined for all subjects (p < 0.05). Obese subject had significantly higher levels of PAB values [40.8 (34.3 - 51.1) HK unit] compared with overweight [37.5 (29.7 - 47.3) HK unit] and normal-weight subjects [37.2 (29.6 - 45.2) HK unit] (p < 0.05 in each case). However, there was no significant difference in PAB values between normal and over-weight subjects (p > 0.05). On performing the analysis of covariance, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) was found to have a significant independent association with PAB values (β = 0.046, p = 0.04).
Conclusions: The high levels of PAB values in obese subjects without overt signs/symptoms of cardiovascular disease may be related to a heightened state of oxidative stress associated with obesity.