Three predisposing factors for the metabolic syndrome in adolescence identified
MedWire News: The co-existence of low birth weight, small head circumference, and parental history of overweight or obesity may be useful for detecting children at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome in adolescence, suggest results of the PREMA study.
"This study provides additional support to the view that the roots of [the metabolic syndrome] need to be traced back as early in life as possible," say Stamatis Efstathiou (Hygeias Melathron Infirmary, Athens, Greece) and colleagues.
The PREMA (Prediction of Metabolic Syndrome in Adolescence) study was conducted in two phases: phase one was a prospective study to construct a risk score that could detect children at high risk for the metabolic syndrome in adolescence; phase two tested the predictive accuracy of this risk score in an independent population of adolescents.
In phase one, the researchers analyzed data from 1270 children aged 6-8 years in 2000 who participated in a survey evaluating the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (according to the International Diabetes Federation definition) in adolescence (aged 13-15 years) in 2007.
Overall, 8% were diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome in adolescence.
A low birth weight and small head circumference (<10th percentile) were independently associated with a significant respective six- and four-fold increased risk for developing the metabolic syndrome in adolescence.
In addition, parental overweight or obesity in at least one parent was associated with a significant three-fold increased risk for developing the metabolic syndrome in adolescence.
In phase two, the researchers tested the ability of these three factors to predict the presence of the metabolic syndrome in a validation cohort of 1091 adolescents. Of these, 8% had the metabolic syndrome.
The team found that the presence of all three factors predicted the presence of the metabolic syndrome in adolescence with a sensitivity of 91% and a specificity of 98%.
The findings are reported in Circulation.
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By Nikki Withers