Progression from impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes in obese children and adolescents: a 3–6-year cohort study in southern Thailand

Somchit Jaruratanasirikul, Sudarat Thammaratchuchai, Maneerat Puwanant, Ladda Mo-suwan and Hutcha Sriplung

Abstract

Background:

Childhood obesity is associated with abnormal glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study evaluated the prevalence of abnormal glucose metabolism in asymptomatic obese children and adolescents, and determined the percentage of T2DM development after 3–6 years of follow-up.

Methods:

During 2007–2013, 177 obese children and adolescents who had normal fasting plasma glucose (FPG<100 mg/dL) were given an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The participants were classified into four groups: normal glucose tolerance (NGT), NGT-hyperinsulinemia (NGT-HI), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and diabetes mellitus (DM). Blood chemistries, including FPG, glycated hemoglobin, and lipid profiles, and liver function test were performed every 6–12 months or when the patient developed any symptom or sign indicative of diabetes.

Results:

Glucose metabolism alterations were detected in 81.4% of the participants: 63.8% with NGT-HI, 15.3% with IGT, and 2.3% with T2DM. The median levels of homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in patients with IGT (8.63) were significantly greater than those in the patients with NGT (4.04) (p<0.01). During the follow-up, 22 patients (14.4%) developed T2DM significantly more from the IGT group (nine of 33 cases, 27.3%) than the NGT-HI group (12 of 108 cases, 11.1%) (p=0.022). The predicting parameters for T2DM conversion were weight status, body mass index (BMI), FBG, fasting insulin, alanine transaminase (ALT) levels, and HOMA-IR.

Conclusions:

Glucose metabolism alteration was commonly found among obese adolescents. Factors associated with T2DM development were greater weight status and the severity of insulin resistance as shown by higher HOMA-IR levels.

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The Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism (JPEM) is the only international journal dedicated exclusively to endocrinology in the neonatal, pediatric and adolescent age groups, and publishes the results of clinical investigations in pediatric endocrinology and basic research. JPEM publishes Review Articles, Original Research, Case Reports, Short Communications and Letters to the Editor.

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