Prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in children and adolescents with varying degrees of obesity
Article first published online: 2 NOV 2007
© 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 68, Issue 6, pages 868–872, June 2008
How to Cite
Calcaterra, V., Klersy, C., Muratori, T., Telli, S., Caramagna, C., Scaglia, F., Cisternino, M. and Larizza, D. (2008), Prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in children and adolescents with varying degrees of obesity. Clinical Endocrinology, 68: 868–872. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2007.03115.x
- Issue published online: 2 NOV 2007
- Article first published online: 2 NOV 2007
- (Received 12 July 2007; returned for revision 27 July 2007; finally revised 19 September 2007; accepted 9 October 2007)
Objective Childhood obesity is increasingly common and is associated with health problems; in particular, obesity plays a central role in the metabolic syndrome (MS). We estimated the prevalence of MS in Caucasian children and adolescents with varying degrees of obesity.
Patients and methods We studied 191 obese [body mass index (BMI) > 97th percentile] children and adolescents. Obesity was stratified on the basis of a threshold BMI z-score and subjects were classified as moderately (z-score 2–2·5) or severely obese (z-score > 2·5). Seventy-six, nonobese subjects were recruited into a comparison group. Thirty-one of them were of normal weight (BMI < 75th percentile) and 45 overweight (BMI 75th–97th percentile).
Patients were classified as having MS if they met three or more of the following criteria for age and sex: BMI > 97th percentile, triglyceride levels > 95th percentile, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level < 5th percentile, systolic or diastolic blood pressure > 95th percentile and impaired glucose tolerance (blood glucose level: 7·8–11·1 mmol/l at 2 h). Insulin resistance was calculated using the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and impaired insulin sensitivity was defined as a HOMA-IR ≥ 2·5 in prepubertal patients and HOMA-IR > 4 in pubertal subjects.
Results The overall prevalence of MS was 13·9% and was present in 12·0% of moderately obese and 31·1% of severely obese subjects; no overweight or normal weight subjects met the criteria for MS. The rate of the MS increased progressively with increasing BMI categories (P < 0·001). Severely obese patients had a threefold increased risk with respect to moderately obese patients.
Conclusions The prevalence of the MS is higher in obese as opposed to nonobese subjects and increases with severity of obesity.