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J Endocrinol Invest. 2008 Dec;31(12):1098-102.

High-normal fasting glucose levels are associated with increased prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance in obese children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics F. Fede, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.


The natural history of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and Type 2 diabetes among obese children is not clear. Although the cut-off for impaired fasting glucose (IFG) has recently been changed from 110 (6.1 mmol/l) to 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l), it does not seem a reliable way to find all subjects with impaired glucose homeostasis. The aim of our study was to determine whether high-normal fasting glucose level could predict the occurrence of IGT and metabolic syndrome. Three hundred and twenty-three Italian obese children and adolescents were included in the study (176 females, mean age 11+/-2.9 yr; mean body mass index z-score: 3+/-0.6). Waist circumference, serum glucose, insulin, triglyceride, cholesterol HDL, blood pressure were evaluated and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed. The prevalence of IFG and IGT were respectively 1.5% (5 subjects) and 5% (18 patients); no diabetic patients were found. Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 20% of patients. Fasting glycemia values <100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l) have been divided in quintiles. Metabolic syndrome prevalence increased across quintiles, although not in a statistically significantly manner, but it could depend on the selected diagnostic criteria as no univocal definition exists for metabolic syndrome in youths. Interestingly high-normal fasting plasma glucose levels constitute an independent risk factor for IGT among obese children and adolescents; therefore, this very easy-to-use parameter may help to identify obese patients at increased risk of diabetes or at least could suggest in which subjects to perform an OGTT.

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