OBJECTIVE To investigate the relationship of high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) with metabolic syndrome components and insulin resistance in Mexican adolescents. METHODS 325 adolescents, 182 girls and 143 boys, aged 12-16 years were studied. Standardized clinical measurements and plasma lipids, glucose, insulin and hs-CRP were determined. For metabolic syndrome (MS), the NCEP-ATP III definition was used. RESULTS MS prevalence was 13%. The most frequent MS components were low HDL-C (50%), high triglycerides (35%), and high waist circumference (28%). hs-CRP median and 75th percentile values for all children were 0.42 and 0.97 mg/dl, respectively. The highest values of hs-CRP were found in children who had MS, p <0.007. hs-CRP was positively correlated with waist circumference, triglycerides, and negatively with HDL-C, p <0.01, and positively with insulin, p <0.001. In stepwise multiple regression analysis, body mass index and HOMA-IR accounted for 10.4% and 12.7% of hs-CRP levels, respectively. CONCLUSIONS Body mass index and insulin resistance have an independent effect on high hs-CRP levels, and explain a large part of hs-CRP concentrations in adolescents. Central adipose tissue might induce an inflammatory state that could be identified from adolescence.