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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 684782, 6 pages
Review Article

Improving Prediction Algorithms for Cardiometabolic Risk in Children and Adolescents

1Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK
2General and Adolescent Paediatrics Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK

Received 12 February 2013; Accepted 9 June 2013

Academic Editor: Ajay K. Gupta

Copyright © 2013 Ulla Sovio 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.


Clustering of abnormal metabolic traits, the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), has been associated with an increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Several algorithms including the MetS and other risk factors exist for adults to predict the risk of CVD. We discuss the use of MetS scores and algorithms in an attempt to predict later cardiometabolic risk in children and adolescents and offer suggestions for developing clinically useful algorithms in this population. There is little consensus in how to define the MetS or to predict future CVD risk using the MetS and other risk factors in children and adolescents. The MetS scores and prediction algorithms we identified had usually not been tested against a clinical outcome, such as CVD, and they had not been validated in other populations. This makes comparisons of algorithms impossible. We suggest a simple two-step approach for predicting the risk of adult cardiometabolic disease in overweight children. It may have advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness since it uses simple measurements in the first step and more complex, costly measurements in the second step. It also takes advantage of the continuous distributions of the metabolic features. We suggest piloting and validating any new algorithms.