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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 23, 2021

Relationship between insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin resistance and metabolic profile with pre-obesity and obesity in children

Marina Jaksic EMAIL logo , Milica Martinovic , Najdana Gligorovic-Barhanovic , Tanja Antunovic and Mirjana Nedovic-Vukovic



Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition with alarmingly high rates worldwide. There is controversy regarding the relationship between insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and pediatric obesity. We investigated the relationship between IGF-1, insulin resistance and metabolic profile with childhood pre-obesity/obesity.


The study involved 201 children aged 7–15 years, divided in three groups according to their nutritional status (International Obesity Task Force criteria): normal-weight (n=84), pre-obese (n=82), obese (n=35). Laboratory IGF-1, insulin, fasting blood glucose (FBG), lipid profile, alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), uric acid (UA), anthropometric and body composition parameters were analyzed. Body mass index and IGF-1 standard deviation score (SDS), waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) and Homeostatic Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) score were calculated.


Pre-obese/obese children had significantly higher IGF-1 SDS, FBG, insulin, HOMA-IR, UA, ALT, triglycerides, and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c); obese group had higher WtHR and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) compared to controls (p<0.05). In obese group, IGF-1 SDS was positively correlated with fat free/muscle mass, total body water (p<0.05) and negatively correlated with LDL-c (p<0.05). In pre-obese/obese HOMA-IR and insulin were positively correlated with age, total body fat (TBF) (p<0.05) and negatively correlated with HDL-c (pre-obese) (p<0.05). Multivariate ordinal logistic regression analyses showed that IGF-1 SDS (OR=1.94; 95%CI: 1.21–3.11), TBF (OR=1.37; 95%CI: 1.21–1.54) were predictors of nutritional status (p<0.001). FBG (OR=42.39; 95%CI: 2.31–77.2) and UA (OR=1.03; 95%CI: 1.01–1.05) were predictors of IR (p<0.001).


IGF-1 SDS and TBF were predictors of nutritional status. Further studies are required to clarify the role of IGF-1 in pathophysiology of obesity and its comorbidities.

Corresponding author: Marina Jaksic, MD, Center for Laboratory Diagnostics, Clinical Center of Montenegro, Institute for Children’s Diseases, Ljubljanska bb, 81000, Podgorica, Montenegro, E-mail:

Funding source: Ministry of Science, Montenegro

Award Identifier / Grant number: 1366/2012

  1. Research funding: The study was financially supported by the Montenegrin Ministry of Science, Contract No. 1366/2012.

  2. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission. Conception or design: M.J, M.M. Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: M.J., M.M, N.G.B, T.A, M.N.V. Drafting the work or revising: M.J, M.M, M.N.V. Final approval of the manuscript: M.J., M.M, N.G.B, T.A, M.N.V .

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Ethical approval: Research involving human subjects complied with all relevant national regulations, institutional policies and is in accordance with the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration (as revised in 2013), and has been approved by Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montenegro (Decision No. 3399, 24th of December, 2013).


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Received: 2020-07-27
Accepted: 2020-11-25
Published Online: 2021-02-23
Published in Print: 2021-03-26

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