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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 257168, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/257168
Clinical Study

Metabolic Syndrome in Italian Obese Children and Adolescents: Stronger Association with Central Fat Depot than with Insulin Sensitivity and Birth Weight

1Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit, University Department of Paediatric Medicine, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S.Onofrio 4, 00165 Rome, Italy
2Cardiorespiratory and Sport Medicine Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S.Onofrio 4, 00165 Rome, Italy
3Epidemiology Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S.Onofrio 4, 00165 Rome, Italy
4Laboratory of Monogenic Diabetes, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S.Onofrio 4, 00165 Rome, Italy
5Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rome, “TorVergata”, Viale Oxford 81, 00127 Rome, Italy

Received 14 December 2010; Accepted 5 January 2011

Academic Editor: Kazuko Masuo

Copyright © 2011 Claudia Brufani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Aim. To evaluate whether body fat distribution, birth weight, and family history for diabetes (FHD) were associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children and adolescents. Methods. A total of 439 Italian obese children and adolescents (5–18 years) were enrolled. Subjects were divided into 2 groups: prepubertal and pubertal. MetS was diagnosed according to the adapted National Cholesterol Education Program criteria. Birth weight percentile, central obesity index (measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), insulin sensitivity (ISI), and disposition index were evaluated. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine variables associated with MetS. Results. The prevalence of MetS was 17%, with higher percentage in adolescents than in children (21 versus 12%). In the overall population, central obesity index was a stronger predictor of MetS than insulin sensitivity and low birth weight. When the two groups were considered, central fat depot remained the strongest predictor of MetS, with ISI similarly influencing the probability of MetS in the two groups and birth weight being negatively associated to MetS only in pubertal individuals. Neither FHD nor degree of fatness was a significant predictor of MetS. Conclusion. Simple clinical parameters like increased abdominal adiposity and low birth weight could be useful tools to identify European obese adolescents at risk for metabolic complications.