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Adolescence is the most critical phase of human growth that radically alters physiology of the body and wherein any inconsistency can lead to serious health consequences in adulthood. The timing and pace at which various developmental events occur during adolescence is highly diverse and thus results in a drastic change in blood biochemistry. Monitoring the physiological levels of various biochemical measures in ample number of individuals during adolescence can call up for an early intervention in managing metabolic diseases in adulthood. Today, only a couple of studies in different populations have investigated blood biochemistry in a small number of adolescents however, there is no comprehensive biochemical data available worldwide. In view, we performed a cross-sectional study in a sizeable group of 7,618 Indian adolescents (3,333 boys and 4,285 girls) aged between 11-17 years to inspect the distribution of values of common biochemical parameters that generally prevails during adolescence and we observed that various parameters considerably follow the reported values from different populations being 3.56-6.49mmol/L (fasting glucose), 10.60-199.48pmol/L (insulin), 0.21-3.22nmol/L (C-peptide), 3.85-6.25% (HbA1c), 2.49-5.54mmol/L (total cholesterol), 1.16-3.69mmol/L (LDL), 0.78-1.85mmol/L (HDL), 0.33-2.24mmol/L (triglycerides), 3.56-11.45mmol/L (urea), 130.01-440.15μmol/L (uric acid) and 22.99-74.28μmol/L (creatinine). Barring LDL and triglycerides, all parameters differed significantly between boys and girls (p< 0.001). Highest difference was seen for uric acid (p = 1.3 x10-187) followed by C-peptide (p = 6.6 x10-89). Across all ages during adolescence, glycemic and nitrogen metabolites parameters varied markedly with gender. Amongst lipid parameters, only HDL levels were found to be significantly associated with gender following puberty (p< 0.001). All parameters except urea, differed considerably in obese and lean adolescents (p< 0.0001). The present study asserts that age, sex and BMI are the essential contributors to variability in blood biochemistry during adolescence. Our composite data on common blood biochemical measures will benefit future endeavors to define reference intervals in adolescents especially when the global availability is scarce.

Original publication




Journal article


PloS one

Publication Date





Genomics and Molecular Medicine Unit, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India.