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Construct validity of a continuous metabolic syndrome score in children

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      The primary purpose of this study was to examine the construct validity of a continuous metabolic syndrome score (cMetS) in children. The secondary purpose was to identify a cutpoint value(s) for an adverse cMetS based on receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.


      378 children aged 7 to 9 years were assessed for the metabolic syndrome which was determined by age-modified cutpoints. High-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, the homeostasis assessment model of insulin resistance, mean arterial pressure, and waist circumference were used to create a cMetS for each subject.


      About half of the subjects did not possess any risk factors while about 5% possessed the metabolic syndrome. There was a graded relationship between the cMetS and the number of adverse risk factors. The cMetS was lowest in the group with no adverse risk factors (-1.59 ± 1.76) and highest in those possessing the metabolic syndrome (≥3 risk factors) (7.05 ± 2.73). The cutoff level yielding the maximal sensitivity and specificity for predicting the presence of the metabolic syndrome was a cMetS of 3.72 (sensitivity = 100%, specificity = 93.9%, and the area of the curve = 0.978 (0.957-0.990, 95% confidence intervals).


      The results demonstrate the construct validity for the cMetS in children. Since there are several drawbacks to identifying a single cut-point value for the cMetS based on this sample, we urge researchers to use the approach herein to validate and create a cMetS that is specific to their study population.

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      Most cited references 42

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        The sixth report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure.

        Racial and ethnic minority populations are growing segments of our society. The prevalence of hypertension in these populations differs across groups, and control rates are not as good as in the general population. Clinicians should be aware of these management challenges, taking social and cultural factors into account. Guidelines are provided for management of children and women with hypertension. In older persons, diuretics are preferred and long-acting dihydropyridine calcium antagonists may be considered. Specific therapy for patients with LVH, coronary artery disease, and heart failure are outlined. Patients with renal insufficiency with greater than 1 g/d of proteinuria should be treated to a therapy blood pressure goal of 125/75 mm Hg; those with less proteinuria should be treated to a blood pressure goal of 130/85 mm Hg. ACE inhibitors have additional renoprotective effects over other antihypertensive agents. Patients with diabetes should be treated to a therapy blood pressure goal of below 130/85 mm Hg. Hypertension may coexist with various other conditions and may be induced by various pressor agents.
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          Measuring the accuracy of diagnostic systems.

           J Swets (1988)
          Diagnostic systems of several kinds are used to distinguish between two classes of events, essentially "signals" and "noise". For them, analysis in terms of the "relative operating characteristic" of signal detection theory provides a precise and valid measure of diagnostic accuracy. It is the only measure available that is uninfluenced by decision biases and prior probabilities, and it places the performances of diverse systems on a common, easily interpreted scale. Representative values of this measure are reported here for systems in medical imaging, materials testing, weather forecasting, information retrieval, polygraph lie detection, and aptitude testing. Though the measure itself is sound, the values obtained from tests of diagnostic systems often require qualification because the test data on which they are based are of unsure quality. A common set of problems in testing is faced in all fields. How well these problems are handled, or can be handled in a given field, determines the degree of confidence that can be placed in a measured value of accuracy. Some fields fare much better than others.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Departments of Kinesiology and Pediatrics & Human Development, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA
            [2 ]Department of Kinesiology, Illinois State University, Bloomington-Normal, USA
            [3 ]Department of Exercise and Sports Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA
            [4 ]Life Span Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA
            Diabetol Metab Syndr
            Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome
            BioMed Central
            28 January 2010
            : 2
            : 8
            Copyright ©2010 Eisenmann et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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