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Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism

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Volume 29, Issue 4


Evaluating health risk using a continuous metabolic syndrome score in obese children

Michelle Battista Hesse
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Health Sciences, James Madison University, 801 Carrier Drive, MSC 4301, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Gregory Young / Robert D. Murray
Published Online: 2015-12-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2015-0271


Background: The metabolic syndrome (MS) in pediatrics is controversial. Rather than a dichotomous scale, a continuous metabolic syndrome score (cMets) has been proposed to evaluate MS. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of a cMets score among an ethnically diverse cohort of children with acanthosis nigricans (AN).

Methods: A retrospective chart review was used to extract clinical and laboratory information on a cohort of obese children. Criteria for MS components and the cMets score were established using published guidelines. Multiple linear regression evaluated the effect of AN status on MS and cMets. Fisher’s exact test compared the race differential on the presence or absence of MS component disorders.

Results: MS diagnosis was non-significant when considering AN status (p=0.554) and ethnicity (p=0.431). Evaluation of the frequency of component disorders, revealed that Caucasians had significantly higher levels of abnormal triglycerides (TG) (35.1 vs. 10.3%; p<0.001), whereas African Americans had significantly higher homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) scores (51.3% vs. 22.3%; p<0.001). cMets was sensitive to identifying metabolic risk among Caucasians with AN, only (p=0.029).

Conclusions: This study found differences in health risk among an obese, ethnically diverse sample of children. cMets is a more sensitive marker of metabolic change compared with MS, especially when AN status and race are considered. cMets may pose an opportunity for the clinician to evaluate the interaction of health risks on the health status of obese children.

Keywords: acanthosis nigricans; childhood obesity; continuous metabolic syndrome score; metabolic risk; metabolic syndrome


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About the article

Received: 2015-07-07

Accepted: 2015-11-04

Published Online: 2015-12-15

Published in Print: 2016-04-01

Citation Information: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Volume 29, Issue 4, Pages 451–458, ISSN (Online) 2191-0251, ISSN (Print) 0334-018X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2015-0271.

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