Metabolic syndrome components in obese Egyptian children

Moushira Erfan Zaki, Sanaa Kamal Mohamed, Karima Abd-Elfattah Bahgat, Shams Mohamed Kholoussi
Annals of Saudi Medicine 2012, 32 (6): 603-10

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Obesity is one of the most serious global health issues. The aim of this study was to assess the association between obesity and different components of metabolic syndrome among obese school children aged 7 to 9 years, and to identify associated clinical and biochemical characteristics.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Case-control study among children attending Al-Zahraa Hospital Outpatient Clinic March 2010.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study included 60 obese children (28 boys and 32 girls) and 50 non-obese controls (25 boys and 25 girls). Anthropometry, fasting glucose, insulin concentrations, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) were measured. Insulin resistance was determined by Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR). Subcutaneous and visceral fat thicknesses were measured ultrasonographically. Metabolic syndrome (MS) was defined according to the Cook criteria.

RESULTS: MS was found in 25% of obese cases. Obese children showed significantly higher values in waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, levels of systolic and diastolic BP, insulin, HOMA-IR and LDL compared to their lean controls. HDL was significantly lower in obese children compared to controls. Obese children with MS had significantly higher values of body mass index standard deviation score (SDS), skinfold thickness, visceral fat thickness, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic BP, HOMA-IR, insulin and triglycerides compared to obese children without MS, whereas HDL was significantly lower. Obese children with MS had a high prevalence of hypertension and dyslipidemia compared to children without MS. Results showed positive relationships between visceral fat and waist circumference as well as with insulin level in obese children (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of the MS is considerable among obese Egyptian children. Abdominal obesity and high HOMA-IR values were the most frequent components of this syndrome among obese children. The study suggests that increased degree of insulin resistance is associated with a heightened risk of suffering MS.

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