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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 362375, 9 pages
Review Article

Population-Based Studies on the Epidemiology of Insulin Resistance in Children

1Department of Pediatrics, St. Antonius Hospital, P.O. Box 2500, 3430 EM Nieuwegein, Netherlands
2Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80082, 3508 TB Utrecht, Netherlands
3Department of Clinical Pharmacy, St. Antonius Hospital, P.O. Box 2500, 3430 EM Nieuwegein, Netherlands

Received 6 February 2015; Revised 5 May 2015; Accepted 5 May 2015

Academic Editor: Joseph Fomusi Ndisang

Copyright © 2015 M. P. van der Aa 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.


Background. In view of the alarming incidence of obesity in children, insight into the epidemiology of the prediabetic state insulin resistance (IR) seems important. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to give an overview of all population-based studies reporting on the prevalence and incidence rates of IR in childhood. Methods. PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane library were searched in order to find all available population-based studies describing the epidemiology of IR in pediatric populations. Prevalence rates together with methods and cut-off values used to determine IR were extracted and summarized with weight and sex specific prevalence rates of IR if available. Results. Eighteen population-based studies were identified, describing prevalence rates varying between 3.1 and 44%, partly explained by different definitions for IR. Overweight and obese children had higher prevalence rates than normal weight children. In seven out of thirteen studies reporting sex specific results, girls seemed to be more affected than boys. Conclusion. Prevalence rates of IR reported in children vary widely which is partly due to the variety of definitions used. Overweight and obese children had higher prevalence and girls were more insulin resistant than boys. Consensus on the definition for IR in children is needed to allow for comparisons between different studies.