Scientific Journal Of King Faisal University
Basic and Applied Sciences


Scientific Journal of King Faisal University / Basic and Applied Sciences

The Correlation between the Body Mass Index and the Humoral Immune Response

(Rojan G.M. Al-Allaff)


A limited number of studies have been carried out on the effect of obesity on the humoral immune system. Previous surveys showed that obesity in people and animals is associated with impaired immune function, specifically cell-mediated immunity. The aim of the current study is to compare the immunoglobulin concentrations among obese individuals in relation to their BMI and contrast them with normal values of non-obese individuals. This includes computing the correlation coefficient using a mathematical equation that measures the connection between immunoglobulins IgG, IgM and IgA, and BMI. To achieve these objectives, the study was carried out on 40 obese people (16 women and 24 men), aged between 20–45 years old, weighing between 85–129Kg and with heights between 154–188cm. All participants had a BMI between 35–44. The immunoglobulins values were obtained by using the radial immunodiffusion assay (Mancini method). The results showed a significant decrease in the levels of IgG, IgM, and IgA in obese individuals compared to non-obese individuals. Additionally, there was no correlation between BMI and IgG or IgM concentrations. Conversely, a correlation between BMI and IgA concentrations was observed. Moreover, the study succeeded in deriving a simple linear regression equation depending on the correlation coefficient. By using the SPSS 23 statistical analysis program, this equation allowed the researcher to calculate the concentration of IgA mathematically depending on the BMI value only. To the best of the researcher’s knowledge. this research is considered the first of its kind in calculating IgA concentration depending on BMI value with no need to conduct the examination by using mathematical equation. The study concluded that obese people suffer from a deficiency in the humoral specific factors, which is probably reflected in the effectiveness of the humoral immune response to infectious agents and the appearance of autoantibodies in obese individuals when compared to non-obese individuals.

BMI, correlation coefficient, IgG, IgM, IgA



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