Aim: To identify clinical features which predict those most at risk of co-morbidities within an obesity clinic.
Methods: Children attending an obesity clinic had fasting glucose, insulin, and lipids measured prior to a standard oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). History and examination established birth weight, family history of type 2 diabetes/obesity, pubertal status, and presence of acanthosis nigricans. Central and total fat mass was estimated by bio-impedance.
Results: Of the 126 children evaluated, 10.3% (n = 13) had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT); the majority (n = 11) of these would not have been identified on fasting glucose alone. Those with IGT were more likely to have a parental history of type 2 diabetes (relative risk 3.5). IGT was not associated with acanthosis nigricans. Twenty five per cent (n = 19) of those evaluated (n = 75) had evidence of the “metabolic syndrome” (MS). HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels were related to insulin sensitivity (HOMA-R); HDL cholesterol was also related to birth weight SDS. We observed a trend for those with MS to have a lower birth weight SDS. The severity of obesity did not influence the likelihood of IGT or MS.
Conclusions: Significant numbers of obese children have associated co-morbidities. Analysis of fasting blood glucose samples alone is not satisfactory to adequately evaluate glucose homoeostasis. The overall level of obesity does not predict co-morbidities. Special attention should be given to those with parental diabetes and a history of low birth weight who are more likely to have IGT and abnormal lipid profiles respectively.
- IGT, impaired glucose tolerance
- OGTT, oral glucose tolerance test
- MS, metabolic syndrome
- impaired glucose tolerance
- metabolic syndrome
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