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Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2009;2009:487804. doi: 10.1155/2009/487804. Epub 2009 Sep 17.

Reliable prediction of insulin resistance by a school-based fitness test in middle-school children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, H4/4 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792-4108, USA.


Objectives. (1) Determine the predictive value of a school-based test of cardiovascular fitness (CVF) for insulin resistance (IR); (2) compare a "school-based" prediction of IR to a "laboratory-based" prediction, using various measures of fitness and body composition. Methods. Middle school children (n = 82) performed the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER), a school-based CVF test, and underwent evaluation of maximal oxygen consumption treadmill testing (VO(2) max), body composition (percent body fat and BMI z score), and IR (derived homeostasis model assessment index [HOMA(IR)]). Results. PACER showed a strong correlation with VO(2) max/kg (r(s) = 0.83, P < .001) and with HOMA(IR) (r(s) = -0.60, P < .001). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that a school-based model (using PACER and BMI z score) predicted IR similar to a laboratory-based model (using VO(2) max/kg of lean body mass and percent body fat). Conclusions. The PACER is a valid school-based test of CVF, is predictive of IR, and has a similar relationship to IR when compared to complex laboratory-based testing. Simple school-based measures of childhood fitness (PACER) and fatness (BMI z score) could be used to identify childhood risk for IR and evaluate interventions.

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