Background: Metabolic syndrome is listed as a risk for atherosclerosis. However, changes in that risk during childhood and adolescence have not been well-documented. It is also unclear whether individuals with abdominal obesity, but with as yet undiagnosed metabolic syndrome, have cardiovascular risks.
Methods and results: Ninety-two patients were studied at the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. Physical measurements including abdominal circumference (AC), body mass index (BMI), body fat (BF), intima media thickness (IMT), arterial elasticity: beta index (Beta), carotid artery compliance (CAC), and Young’s elastic modulus (YEM) using ultrasonography were taken. A positive correlation between systolic blood pressure, AC, BMI, and BF was observed (AC, r=0.717, p<0.001; BMI, r=0.672, p<0.001; BF, r=0.518, p<0.001). IMT showed a weak positive correlation with AC, BMI and BF (AC, r=0.211, p=0.044; BMI, r=0.233, p=0.025; BF, r=0.232, p=0.026). The relationship between AC, BMI, BF and arterial elasticity, especially in AC, positively correlated with beta index and YEM but negatively correlated with CAC.
Conclusion: We suggest that AC is the most sensitive marker in the detection of arterial elasticity, even in school age children. Earlier pre-diagnostic intervention, especially in the prevention of abdominal obesity, may reduce the incidence of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents.
©2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York