RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Metabolic syndrome in fifth grade children with acanthosis nigricans: results from the CARDIAC project.

BACKGROUND: A number of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors have been linked to obesity and associated negative health outcomes in children. However, no consistent definition of metabolic syndrome exists for children. In addition, research is needed to systematically examine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in high-risk children, including those with insulin resistance. This study explores several definitions of metabolic syndrome and determines the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a large sample of children with acanthosis nigricans (AN).

METHODS: The study used results from a large-scale screening of fifth-grade students in West Virginia to explore the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among 676 male and female participants who had mild to severe AN.

RESULTS: In this high-risk sample of students who had AN, 49% met the criteria, i.e., three risk factors including insulin resistance, high body-mass index, and elevated blood pressure or dyslipidemia, when tested for metabolic syndrome. Children with AN who were classified as obese or morbidly obese were at significantly increased odds of having metabolic syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: Results are discussed in terms of systematically defining metabolic syndrome for high-risk children, as well as public health and clinical interventions targeting children who are overweight or obese. The presence of AN and morbid obesity might be easily observed markers for metabolic syndrome.

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