BMI and Waist Circumference Have Positive Correlation With Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number in Young Adult Male

Liong Boy Kurniawan1, *, Uleng Bahrun1, Mochammad Hatta2, Mansyur Arif1
1 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia
2 Department of Immunology and Biomolecular, Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia

© 2018 Kurniawan et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, 90245 Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia; Tel: +6281241738007; E-mail: liongboykurniawan@yahoo.com



Abdominal obesity is associated with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Mitochondrial dysfunction is often related to metabolic disorder commonly found in abdominal obesity. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number is a biomarker which can be used to reflect the activity of mitochondria. Abdominal obesity is more commonly found in males compared to females and the incidence is growing in young adult male, therefore we investigated the relationship of mtDNA copy number and anthropometric and metabolic biomarkers in young adult male.


A total of 25 healthy young adult males of age 19 to 24 years old were recruited in the study. Metabolic biomarkers were evaluated along with body mass index, waist circumference and total body fat, visceral fat by bioelectrical impedance analysis. mtDNA copy number was measured in peripheral blood leukocytes by using real-time polymerase chain reaction method.


After adjusting for ages, mtDNA copy number correlated with body mass index (r= 0.45, P= 0.03) and waist circumference (r= 0.43, P= 0.04) but had no significant correlation with fasting plasma glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR, testosterone, total body fat and visceral fat.


mtDNA copy number has a positive correlation with BMI and waist circumference. Even though it is still controversial over other studies, further studies are needed to explain the causality and significance of our findings.

Keywords: mtDNA copy number, BMI, Waist circumference, Young adult male, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes mellitus.