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Presence of the Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Children at Prepubertal AgeOlza J.a · Gil-Campos M.b · Leis R.c · Bueno G.d · Aguilera C.M.a · Valle M.f · Cañete R.b · Tojo R.c · Moreno L.A.e · Gil A.a
aDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, Center of Biomedical Research, Lab 123, University of Granada, Armilla, bUnit of Pediatric Endocrinology, Reina Sofía University Hospital, Córdoba, cUnit of Investigation in Nutrition, Growth and Human Development of Galicia, Department of Pediatrics, University Clinical Hospital of Santiago, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, dDepartment of Pediatrics, Lozano Blesa University Clinical Hospital, eSchool of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, and fUnit of Clinical Analyses, Valle de los Pedroches Hospital, Pozoblanco, Spain
Background/Aims: There is a strong debate on the diagnosis and early phenotypic expression of the metabolic syndrome in children. The aim of the present study was to examine the frequency of the metabolic syndrome using various definitions in obese prepubertal and pubertal children. Methods: 478 (213 females and 265 males) obese children were recruited in three provinces of Spain. Blood pressure (BP), waist circumference, and weight and height were measured, and body mass index was calculated. Glucose, insulin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triacylglycerols were determined. We classified the children according to seven different proposed definitions of the metabolic syndrome. Results: Regardless of the definition used, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (8.3–34.2%) was relatively high in obese children in the prepubertal period as well as in pubertal children (9.7–41.2%). We performed a principal-factor analysis to explain correlations among features of the metabolic syndrome and found that glucose metabolism (factor 1), dyslipidemia (factor 2) and obesity/BP (factor 3) explained 72% of the total variance. Conclusion: Irrespective of the classification used, the metabolic syndrome is not only present in pubertal but also in prepubertal children. International definitions of the metabolic syndrome should also consider criteria specific for children in the prepubertal period, i.e. children aged <10 years.
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