Introduction: The metabolic syndrome is a major public health problem. Its prevalence is constantly increasing, especially in children and adolescents. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a population of obese children and adolescents.
Method: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study including 47 children and adolescents recruited at the obesity unit of the National Institute of Nutrition in Tunis. Each patient underwent anthropometric measurements, clinical examination, metabolic and hormonal assessment.
Results: The mean age of the population was 14.04 ± 2.55 years. Females were predominant in 57.4% of cases. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 34.34 [26.27-46.28] kg/m². All patients had abdominal obesity with a mean waist circumference of 111.93 ± 12.47 cm. The mean HOMA index was 9.03 ± 4.97. Type 2 diabetes and hypertension were present in 2.1% and 8.5% of obese patients respectively. Hypertriglyceridemia was found in 13.3% of cases. Almost two thirds of the patients (64.4%) had hypoHDLemia and more than one third had impaired glucose tolerance (40.4%). Hyperuricemia was noted in 18 patients (35.6%). Almost half of our sample (48.9%) had a metabolic syndrome. This syndrome was found in 15 girls (57.7%) and 7 boys (36.8%) but without significant difference (P=0.17). It was positively correlated with age and BMI but not significantly (P=0.26 and P=0.44 respectively). Metabolic syndrome was independent of uricemia (P=0.7). It was positively and significantly correlated with the HOMA index (P=0.015).
Conclusion: The metabolic syndrome was frequent in our population justifying prevention, screening and early and adequate management of obesity, from childhood, in order to decrease the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular complications.
21 May 2022 - 24 May 2022