Abstract: Aim The aim of the present investigation was to analyse cephalometric skeletal structures and hormonal and enzymatic parameters in young obese subjects in comparison with those of normal weight subjects.
Materials and methods The whole sample consisted of 50 Caucasian patients (28 males and 22 females) whose lateral radiographs, laboratory hormonal and enzymatic analyses were already available. The test group included 25 obese patients (11 females and 14 males, average age: 9.8 ± 2.11 years old), while the control group included 25 normal weight subjects matched for age and sex (11 females and 14 males, 9.9 ± 2.5 years old). Data were statistically analysed: Student’s t-test for independent samples was adopted and the level of significance was set at: p< 0.05.
Results As regards cephalometric records, the anterior cranial base length was significantly greater in the test group (S-N: 69.9 ± 4 mm) compared to the controls (S-N: 68.1 ± 2.7 mm). Moreover, the maxillary lenght was higher in the test group (Pm-A: 48.5 ± 2.5 mm ) in comparison to the control group (Pm-A: 46.1 ± 1.9 mm). As regards skeletal class and vertical dimension, no significant differences were found between the two groups, with the exception of the intermaxillary plane angle, which was significantly lower in the obese subjects in comparison to the controls. Laboratory analysis showed significant (p <0.05) higher levels of leptin and insulin in the test group in comparison with control subjects.
Furthermore, LH, FSH, IGF-1 values were significantly (p <0.05) lower in the test group in comparison with the control group.
Conclusion Obese subjects exhibited an increase of some craniofacial parameters and alteration of some laboratory parameters that may be involved in the process of skeletal maturation, in comparison to normal weight subjects. These findings may be of interest in orthodontics, as young obese subjects may need a different orthodontic treatment plan in comparison to normal weight subjects of the same age.