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Indian Pediatr. 2008 Jun;45(6):457-62.

Body fat distribution in childhood obesity: association with metabolic risk factors.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Pamukkale University School of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey. drssemiz@yahoo.com



To evaluate the clinical significance of body fat distribution in childhood obesity, we investigated the associations of subcutaneous and intraabdominal (preperitoneal and visceral) fat, estimated by ultrasonography, with metabolic risk factors.


Fifty-one obese (age 11.5+/- 2.6 years) and 33 non-obese (age 12.2+/- 2.7 years) children.


Case control study.


Ultrasonographic measurements of fat thickness [maximum and minimum preperitoneal fat thicknesses (Pmax, Pmin), maximum and minimum subcutaneous fat thicknesses (Smax, Smin), visceral fat thickness (V), triceps (Tr) and subscapular (Ss) skin fold thicknesses] were documented. Blood pressures, lipid profiles, fasting insulin levels, glucose/insulin ratio and HOMA IR (homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance) were evaluated in both groups and these parameters were correlated with body fat distribution.


In the obese group, fasting insulin level was correlated to Smin, Smax, and Pmin. HOMA, accordingly, was also correlated to Smin, Smax, and Pmin. Fasting insulin level and HOMA showed no correlation with either Pmax or visceral fat thickness.


Abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness measurements were the best predictors of hyperinsulinemia (R2: 0.32).


We did not observe a significant correlation between blood pressure, lipid parameters and body fat distribution in obese group. Abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness might be a better predictor of the risk for hyperinsulinemia in childhood obesity.

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