The stability of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents

Jennifer K. Gustafson, Lisa B. Yanoff, Benjamin D. Easter, Sheila M. Brady, Margaret F. Keil, Mary D. Roberts, Nancy G. Sebring, Joan C. Han, Susan Z. Yanovski, S. Van Hubbard, Jack A. Yanovski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Context: Some studies suggest the presence of metabolic syndrome before adulthoodmayidentify those at high risk for later cardiovascular morbidity, but there arefewdata examining the reliability of pediatric metabolic syndrome. Objective: To examine the short- and long-term stability of pediatric metabolic syndrome. Design: Metabolic syndrome was defined as having at least three of the following: waist circumference, blood pressure, and fasting serum triglycerides in the 90th or higher percentile for age/sex; high-density lipoprotein- cholesterol 10th or lower percentile for age/sex; and fasting serum glucose of at least 100 mg/dl. Short-term metabolic syndrome stability (repeated measurements within 60 d) was assessedinobeseyouthages6-17yr.Long- termmetabolicsyndromestability(repeatedmeasurements more than 1.5 yr apart) was studied in 146 obese and nonobese children age 6-12 yr at baseline. Patients and Setting: Convenience samples of obese and nonobese youth ages 6-17 yr participating in research studies were collected at a clinical research hospital. Results: Short-term metabolic syndrome stability (repeat measurements performed 19.7 ± 13.1 d apart) was assessed in 220 children. The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was unstable in 31.6% of cases. At their short-term follow-up visit, incidence of metabolic syndrome among participants whodid not have metabolic syndrome at baselinewas24%.In the long term (repeat measurements performed 5.6±1.9 yr apart), the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was unstable in 45.5% of cases. Conclusions: Cutoff-point-based definitions for pediatric metabolic syndrome have substantial instability in the short and long term. The value of making a cutoff-point-based diagnosis of metabolic syndrome during childhood or adolescence remains in question.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4828-4834
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


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