Submitted to: Obesity Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2005
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Citation: Johnston, C., Tyler, C., Miller, F., Dadjoo, N., McFarlin, B. 2005. Metabolic syndrome risk across weight status in Mexican American children [abstract]. Obesity Research. 13:A62-A63. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Mexican Americans experience some of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in this country. With the rising rates of obesity in Mexican American children, these children are also at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, especially when diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. There is not, however, standard criteria for diagnosing children with metabolic syndrome with some researchers using adult criteria and others basing diagnoses on a child's being greater than the 90th or 95th percentile for each risk factor. The current study compared the prevalence of 3 risk factors for metabolic syndrome using adult ATP III guidelines versus accepted child criteria (i.e., systolic or diastolic blood pressure > 90th %tile for age, sex and height; HDL-C < 40 mg/dL; triglycerides > 110). Data were collected from Mexican American children (n = 81) aged 10 to 14 enrolling in an after school obesity prevention intervention. More children were demonstrated to have one or more risk factors for metabolic syndrome when using child versus adult criteria (52%, n = 42, vs. 21%, n = 17). Using child criteria, the weight status of children with no risk factor for metabolic syndrome versus those with 2 were then compared. Assessing indicators of weight status revealed that, compared to children with no risk factors, those with 2 were heavier (percent overweight, t=-2.187, p<.05; BMI percentile, t=-3.747, p<.001; BMI z-score, t=-2.465, p<.05). These findings support the importance of establishing specific diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome in children/adolescents. Currently accepted child criteria appear more sensitive and correspond to heavier weights, which alone is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, the clinical significance of a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome using adult/child criteria has not been determined, and this must be done to insure that children at greatest risk for developing type 2 diabetes are targeted for preventive intervention.