Prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in children and adolescents with varying degrees of obesity

V. Calcaterra, C. Klersy, T. Muratori, S. Telli, C. Caramagna, F. Scaglia, M. Cisternino, D. Larizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Childhood obesity is increasingly common and is associated with health problems; in particular, obesity plays a central role in the metabolic syndrome (MS). We estimated the prevalence of MS in Caucasian children and adolescents with varying degrees of obesity. Patients and methods: We studied 191 obese [body mass index (BMI) > 97th percentile] children and adolescents. Obesity was stratified on the basis of a threshold BMI z-score and subjects were classified as moderately (z-score 2-2.5) or severely obese (z-score > 2.5). Seventy-six, nonobese subjects were recruited into a comparison group. Thirty-one of them were of normal weight (BMI <75th percentile) and 45 overweight (BMI 75th-97th percentile). Patients were classified as having MS if they met three or more of the following criteria for age and sex: BMI > 97th percentile, triglyceride levels > 95th percentile, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level <5th percentile, systolic or diastolic blood pressure > 95th percentile and impaired glucose tolerance (blood glucose level: 7.8-11.1 mmol/l at 2 h). Insulin resistance was calculated using the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and impaired insulin sensitivity was defined as a HOMA-IR ≥ 2.5 in prepubertal patients and HOMA-IR > 4 in pubertal subjects. Results: The overall prevalence of MS was 13.9% and was present in 12.0% of moderately obese and 31.1% of severely obese subjects; no overweight or normal weight subjects met the criteria for MS. The rate of the MS increased progressively with increasing BMI categories (P <0.001). Severely obese patients had a threefold increased risk with respect to moderately obese patients. Conclusions: The prevalence of the MS is higher in obese as opposed to nonobese subjects and increases with severity of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-872
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in children and adolescents with varying degrees of obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this