Objective To determine the prevalence of lipid abnormalities among Greek overweight and obese children and adolescents compared to age- and gender-matched controls.
Patients and Methods 152 overweight/obese children (90 males and 62 females, mean age: 8.7±2.8) and 152 normal weight controls (90 males and 62 females, mean age: 8.3±3.2) matched for sex and age participated in this prospective study during a two years period. Serum cholesterol (total, LDL, HDL) and triglyceride levels were determined from blood samples collected after a 12 hour overnight fast.
Results A significant positive association was detected between BMI percentile and LDL-c levels (p = 0.027). Overweight/obese children had higher levels of both total cholesterol (p = 0.025) and LDL-c (p = 0.028), compared to controls. Significant greater proportion of children with abnormal values of total cholesterol and LDL-c was found in the overweight/obese group compared to the normal weight group (50.7% vs. 31.9%, p = 0.01 and 48.6% vs. 26.1% p = 0.002, respectively). This correlation was also statistically significant among the cohort of male subjects. Mean serum total cholesterol and LDL-c levels (mg/dl) were significantly higher among the overweight/obese children than in controls (171.2±27.6 vs. 160.1±30.3 and 108.6±25.3 vs. 98.1±30.4 respectively). Mean triglycerides levels (mg/dl) tended to be higher in the overweight/obese group (78.7±42 vs. 81.1±39.6), but interestingly, no correlation could be found between obesity and low HDL-c.
Conclusion In the current study, abnormal lipid levels were relatively common among overweight and obese children and adolescents, suggesting that the correlation of adiposity and hyperlipidemia is as strong in childhood as in adulthood.