Insulin-Like Growth Factors and Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Children

Elena Inzaghi, Barbara Baldini Ferroli, Danilo Fintini, Armando Grossi, Valerio Nobili, Stefano Cianfarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I is related to cardiometabolic risk in adults, whereas the metabolic role of IGF-II is unclear. The aim of this study was to assess IGFs in obese children and correlate them with metabolic syndrome (MetS) components. Methods: This is a retrospective study including 574 obese children (11.34 ± 3.16 years). All subjects underwent complete anthropometry and biochemical assessment. In a subgroup of 136 subjects, body composition was evaluated. IGF-I was measured in 300 obese subjects and IGF-II in 77 obese and 15 lean children. 177 subjects were divided according to the presence of 1 or more MetS criteria: group 1, subjects with 1 MetS criterion; group 2, subjects with 2 components; and group 3, subjects with MetS diagnosis. Results: IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGF-I/insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 ratio were not different among subjects with an increasing number of MetS criteria and were not associated with single components of MetS as well as with body composition parameters. In children younger than 10 years, IGF-I directly correlated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.005) even after controlling for confounders. IGF-II was significantly higher in obese children and correlated with parameters of insulin sensitivity (p < 0.05). Conclusion: IGFs were neither related to MetS nor to body composition parameters in obese children. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms underlying the relationship between IGF-II and insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Body composition
  • Insulin-like growth factors
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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