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  • Author: Sarah Bussler x
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Abstract

With this review, we aim to focus the attention on some established as well as new concepts for the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children and adolescents spanning from definition to recommendations for the diagnostic approach. Even though there is no international commonly used definition of the metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents, all definitions include obesity as precondition for the development of MetS even in children. Obesity is one of the major cardiometabolic risk factors and it is strongly linked to other metabolic diseases like hyperlipidemia, hyperinsulinemia as well as hypertension. The metabolic syndrome is commonly known as a constellation of the mentioned morbidities. Pediatricians and researchers agree that early diagnosis and early interventions of the MetS are important to improve the prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adulthood. However, this requires appropriate screening tools for children and adolescents at risk for the MetS and its comorbidities. Due to controversies regarding the definition of MetS and the lack of consensus thresholds for the single components in children and adolescents, there is no internationally accepted diagnostic pathway for MetS available. However, several consensus statements and national guidelines for the assessment of obesity and its comorbidities in children and adolescents are available. Obesity seems to be the driving factor for the development of the other risk factors of MetS. In order to avoid conflicts concerning the definition of overweight and obesity, we recommend using the WHO definition of overweight (one standard deviation body mass index for age and sex and obesity; two standard deviations body mass index for age and sex) in children and adolescents.