Obesity is associated with severe clinical course in children with Henoch-Schonlein purpura



We aimed to evaluate the role of obesity on the clinical course and response to treatment in patients with Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP).


Data charts of children with HSP followed in a tertiary hospital between 2000 and 2018 were reviewed retrospectively. Persistent purpura was defined as skin involvement persisting for ≥ 30 days. Mild nephropathy was defined as the presence of microscopical hematuria and/or non-nephrotic proteinuria, while severe nephropathy as nephrotic proteinuria, nephritic syndrome, and/or kidney insufficiency. Obese and non-obese patients were compared for demographic, clinical, and laboratory parameters.


There were 199 patients (M/F, 104/95; median (IQR) presenting age 7.1 (5.0–9.2) years; follow-up period 17.5 (6–50) months). Obese patients (n = 35 (17.6%)) had significantly higher rate of persistent purpura (46% vs 21%), severe renal involvement (58% vs 31%), high-grade renal histopathological lesions (83% vs 39%), hypertension (29% vs 9%), and increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (79% vs 56%). Obese patients also showed delayed improvement of cutaneous (25 vs 14 days), articular (12.5 vs 10.0 days), and kidney (280 vs 57 days) symptoms. Obese children used steroids for significantly longer period of time (236 vs 40 days). Furthermore, need for immunosuppressive medications were higher in obese patients (40% vs 9%).


Obese children with HSP had higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate, hypertension, and severe renal involvement; showed delayed improvement of skin, joint, and kidney findings; and need more immunosuppressive medications and a longer period of steroid treatment. These findings may be associated with the effect of adipose tissue on inflammation.

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Correspondence to Hatice Adiguzel Dundar.

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The study protocol was approved by the local ethics committee (4730-GOA) (2019/11-03).

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Dundar, H.A., Pektanc, M., Bayram, M.T. et al. Obesity is associated with severe clinical course in children with Henoch-Schonlein purpura. Pediatr Nephrol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00467-020-04672-7

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  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  • Inflammation
  • Involvement
  • Obesity