Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems (MSNFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Robin Shoemaker


Background: The prevalence of hypertension in children and adolescents is rising, with 13% having elevated blood pressure and 5% having hypertension. Sex differences play a role in cardiovascular diseases in adults but are not well defined in youth. The objective of this study is to identify sex differences in obesity-mediated cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents. Methods: This is a pilot study of n=82 youth with obesity recruited from a High BMI Clinic. Clinical data and blood samples were collected at a single time point. Serum sterols were quantified via LC-MS/MS. Number of cardiometabolic risk factors were evaluated. Data are mean +/- standard deviation with analysis via t-tests. Results: Mean BMI was 34.8 in males and 35.8 kg/m2 in females. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was significantly higher in females compared to males ((69.4 +/- 8.9 versus 65.3 +/- 6.3 mmHG; P < 0.05). It was statistically significant that more females experienced elevated BP compared to males (p < 0.05). There was a significant interaction between sex and cortisol (p=0.023) for DBP. Conclusions: There are sex differences in the relationship between plasma cortisol and
DBP in youth with obesity. Modulation of the cortisol pathway may be part of the mechanism of obesity-associated hypertension in females.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)