Childhood obesity has increased to epidemic levels and is considered a public health problem due to its association with a number of metabolic abnormalities, which are being detected at earlier stages of life. The objective was to evaluate the association between the presence of subclinical metabolic abnormalities (SMA) and obesity in a sample of pre–pubertal Mexican schoolchildren. Children of both sexes and 6 to 13 years old were questioned for signs of puberty, underwent anthropometric measurement and had their Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated. Two groups were formed: those with obesity (case group) and those with normal weight paired by age and chosen randomly (control group). Fasting insulin, glucose and cholesterol were measured. 92 children were included, 46 in each group, mean age 9.9 and 9.5 years old, respectively (p=0.97). A higher frequency of hyperinsulinism was found in the case group: Fasting insulin >15 mU/ml, 75% vs. 21% (case group vs. control group, respectively); fasting glucose to insulin ratio <6, 72% vs. 24%; HOMA IR >2.7, 83% vs. 14%; and decrease in QUICKI (<0.3), 80% vs. 19% (p=0.000). Hypercholesterolemia was 25% vs. 15% (p=0.22), impaired fasting glucose 28% vs. 8% (p=0.01), and family history of diabetes mellitus (DM) 35% vs. 9% (OR=5.6; 95%CI=1.5–22.2; p=0.002). In this sample of Mexican schoolchildren, obesity was associated to a higher frequency of SMA, such as hyperinsulinism and impaired fasting glucose, and to a family history of DM.
© Freund Publishing House Ltd. 2010