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      Independent Effect of Visceral Adipose Tissue on Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Adolescents

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          Background/Aims: Obesity is linked to metabolic complications, even in children, but the role of the distribution of adiposity is unclear. We aimed to assess which compartment of fat mass – total (TFM), visceral (VFM) or subcutaneous (SCFM) – is related to metabolic complications in overweight and obese children and adolescents. Design: Analyses were conducted in 159 overweight or obese children and adolescents (median body mass index 4.0 SD). TFM was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Distribution of abdominal fat was assessed by MRI. Insulin resistance (IR) was determined using a homeostatic model assessment. The definition of metabolic syndrome (MS) was derived from National Cholesterol Education Program ATP III. Results: A parental history of obesity was positively and significantly associated with fat content of the three compartments (TFM: β = 2.22; VFM: β = 0.17; SCFM: β = 0.12, respectively). VFM was also associated with gender (β = –0.29) and ethnicity (β = –0.54). TFM was a significant and independent determinant of IR (β = 0.02) whereas IR and VFM only were significantly related to MS (OR = 3.55 and 3.66 respectively). Conclusion: Our data indicate that even in overweight children VFM was influenced by several factors such as sex and ethnicity and that a relationship was evidenced between the amount of VFM and MS.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Waist circumference and abdominal sagittal diameter: best simple anthropometric indexes of abdominal visceral adipose tissue accumulation and related cardiovascular risk in men and women.

          The amount of abdominal visceral adipose tissue measured by computed tomography is a critical correlate of the potentially "atherogenic" metabolic disturbances associated with abdominal obesity. In this study conducted in samples of 81 men and 70 women, data are presented on the anthropometric correlates of abdominal visceral adipose tissue accumulation and related cardiovascular disease risk factors (triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, fasting and postglucose insulin and glucose levels). Results indicate that the waist circumference and the abdominal sagittal diameter are better correlates of abdominal visceral adipose tissue accumulation than the commonly used waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). In women, the waist circumference and the abdominal sagittal diameter also appeared more closely related to the metabolic variables than the WHR. When the samples were divided into quintiles of waist circumference, WHR or abdominal sagittal diameter, it was noted that increasing values of waist circumference and abdominal sagittal diameter were more consistently associated with increases in fasting and postglucose insulin levels than increasing values of WHR, especially in women. These findings suggest that the waist circumference or the abdominal sagittal diameter, rather than the WHR, should be used as indexes of abdominal visceral adipose tissue deposition and in the assessment of cardiovascular risk. It is suggested from these data that waist circumference values above approximately 100 cm, or abdominal sagittal diameter values > 25 cm are most likely to be associated with potentially "atherogenic" metabolic disturbances.
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            Prevalence of overweight among children in Europe.

             M Frelut,  T Lobstein (2003)
            Estimates of the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity have been made in several European countries during the last decade. The methods used and the assessment criteria differ from survey to survey. The present paper reports the prevalence data from 21 surveys in Europe using a single, internationally accepted definition of overweight in childhood, allowing direct comparisons to be made. A tendency for a higher prevalence of overweight among children in western and especially southern Europe is shown and some possible reasons for this are discussed.
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              The metabolic syndrome in overweight Hispanic youth and the role of insulin sensitivity.

              The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is highest among Hispanic adults. However, studies exploring the metabolic syndrome in overweight Hispanic youth are lacking. Subjects were 126 overweight children (8-13 yr of age) with a family history for type 2 diabetes. The metabolic syndrome was defined as having at least three of the following: abdominal obesity, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, and/or impaired glucose tolerance. Insulin sensitivity was determined by the frequently sampled iv glucose tolerance test and minimal modeling. The prevalence of abdominal obesity, low HDL cholesterol, hypertriglyceridemia, systolic and diastolic hypertension, and impaired glucose tolerance was 62, 67, 26, 22, 4, and 27%, respectively. The presence of zero, one, two, or three or more features of the metabolic syndrome was 9, 22, 38, and 30%, respectively. After controlling for body composition, insulin sensitivity was positively related to HDL cholesterol (P < 0.01) and negatively related to triglycerides (P < 0.001) and systolic (P < 0.01) and diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.05). Insulin sensitivity significantly decreased (P < 0.001) as the number of features of the metabolic syndrome increased. In conclusion, overweight Hispanic youth with a family history for type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and this appears to be due to decreased insulin sensitivity. Improving insulin resistance may be crucial for the prevention of chronic disease in this at-risk population.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                July 2008
                21 May 2008
                : 70
                : 1
                : 22-28
                aINSERM, U690; bUniversité Paris 7; cPediatric Clinic, dLaboratoire d’Hormonologie, eDepartment of Pediatric Radiology, fINSERM CIE 5 Unit of Clinical Epidemiology; AP-HP, and gClinical Investigation Unit, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France
                129674 Horm Res 2008;70:22–28
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 4, References: 38, Pages: 7
                Original Paper


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