Cardiovascular fitness, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in severely obese prepubertal Italian children

Claudia Brufani, Armando Grossi, Danilo Fintini, Rossana Fiori, Graziamaria Ubertini, Diego Colabianchi, Paolo Ciampalini, Alberto Tozzi, Fabrizio Barbetti, Marco Cappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To evaluate if insulin resistance (IR) and metabolic syndrome (MS) were associated with poor cardiovascular fitness in very obese prepubertal Italian subjects. Methods: Children referred to the Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit of Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital underwent an OGTT with glucose and insulin assays. QUICKI, ISI and HOMA-IR were calculated. Total and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and percentage of body fat (DEXA) were determined. Cardiovascular fitness (maximal treadmill time) was evaluated using a treadmill protocol. The MS was defined as having 3 or more of following risk factors: obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, high blood pressure, low HDL-cholesterol, high triglycerides. Results: Fifty-five very obese prepubertal Italian children were enrolled in the study. Unadjusted correlation revealed maximal treadmill time negatively related to fasting insulin (r = -0.53, p <0.0001) and HOMA-IR (r = -0.57, p <0.0001) and positively to QUICKI (r = 0.51, p <0.0001) and ISI (r = 0.46, p = 0.0035). These relationships remained significant when in multivariate analysis age, gender, BMI SD and body composition were accounted for (all p <0.01). The presence of the MS was independently associated with maximal treadmill time. Conclusion: Poorcardiovascular fitness, IR and MS were independently related, suggesting that the relationship between fitness and insulin action develops early in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalHormone Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Children
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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