The triglyceride/HDL-cholesterol ratio as a marker of cardiovascular risk in obese children; association with traditional and emergent risk factors

Zaira Quijada, Mariela Paoli, Yajaira Zerpa, Nolis Camacho, Rosanna Cichetti, Vanessa Villarroel, Gabriela Arata-Bellabarba, Roberto Lanes
Pediatric Diabetes 2008, 9 (5): 464-71

OBJECTIVES: To determine the presence of traditional and emergent cardiovascular risk factors and to evaluate the triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Tg/HDL-C) ratio as a marker for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome (MS) in obese children.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty-seven prepubertal children of both sexes, between the ages of 6 and 12 yr, 20 normal-weight children, 18 overweight, and 29 obese subjects, were studied. Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and fat mass (FM), were measured. Plasma glucose, serum insulin, lipid profile, C-reactive protein (CRP), and leptin concentrations were quantified. Glucose and insulin concentrations 2 h post-glucose load were determined. The Tg/HDL-C ratio, homeostasis model assessment index (HOMA), and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) were calculated.

RESULTS: Systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures (MBP), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), Tg/HDL-C, total cholesterol/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C ratios, basal and 2 h postload insulin, CRP, and leptin were significantly higher and the QUICKI index were lower in the obese group. MBP, Tg/HDL-C ratio, HOMA, CRP, and leptin levels showed a positive and significant correlation and QUICKI a negative correlation with abdominal circumference, BMI, and FM. The Tg/HDL-C ratio correlated positively with MBP. The frequency of MS in the obese group was 69%. While Tg/HDL-C ratio, CRP, and leptin were higher and the values of QUICKI were lower in subjects with MS, it was the Tg/HDL-C ratio and the BMI that significantly explained the MS.

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity increases the cardiovascular risk in childhood. The Tg/HDL-C ratio could be a useful index in identifying children at risk for dyslipidemia, hypertension, and MS.

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