Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P591

Prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome among Spanish adolescents

Emilio García-García, Rafael Galera, Sara Gómez-Bueno, María-Dolores Gámez, Encarnación López-Ruzafa, Ana Ruiz-Sánchez, Patricia Oliva, Manuel Martín, Ángeles Vázquez & Antonio Bonillo


Torrecárdenas Hospital, Almería, Spain.


Purposes: To report the prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome (MS) and its related components among adolescents living in the city of Almería (south of Spain). To examine the distribution of HOMA-IR (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance).

Methods: A total of 373 subjects attending secundary school (aged 12–17 years) participated in a community-based cross-sectional survey. IOTF (International Obesity Task Force) criteria were used to identify obesity and overweight. Criteria for the MS were the presence of three or more of the following components (criteria for adolescents to Adult Treatment Panel III): 1) central obesity (waist circumference ≥90th percentile, age and gender specific; 2) elevated triglyceride concentrations (≥110 mg/dl); 3) low HDL cholesterol concentrations (≤45 mg/dl); elevated blood pressure (systolic and/or diastolic ≥90th percentile, age and gender specific); or 5) elevated fasting glucose levels (≥100 mg/dl). HOMA-IR was calculated and linear regression identified factors associated.

Results: About 8.0% of this sample was obese and 20.4% was overweight. The prevalence of MS was 6.2% (95% confidence interval 4.8–7.6). It was 26.7%, 14.5% and 1.5% among adolescents who were obese, overweight and normal weight. 8.3% of the adolescents had two components and 26.0% had one component, with low HDL cholesterol the most common component (19.8%). Mean HOMA-IR was 2.07. Triglyceride concentrations and waist circumference were the most important determinant of HOMA-IR (β=+0.30; P<0,001; β=+023; P=0.013).

Conclusions: Obesity and MS are major problems for Spanish adolescents. The prevalence of the MS is higher in obese as opposed to non-obese subjects.