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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jun;21(6):455-66. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2011.01.011. Epub 2011 May 11.

Management of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, La Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.


Concomitantly with the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) is rising among children and adolescents, leading to fears for future epidemics of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease in the young. This makes the accurate identification and the appropriate treatment of children and adolescents with MS an important priority for health care systems. This review will focus on the management of each component of MS, including the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is currently considered as the hepatic component of the syndrome. The most relevant target of treatment of MS in children and adolescents is the abdominal obesity. To this end, we will discuss the efficacy of dietary approaches, possibly coupled with regular physical activity, on eliciting visceral fat reduction. We will also highlight several aspects of the treatment of the high triglyceride/low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol phenotype, including the use of non-pharmacological measures, and indications for instituting drug therapies. Part of this review will address treatment of glucose abnormalities, including the benefits of lifestyle modification alone, and the potential adjunctive role of hypoglycemic drugs. The treatment of hypertension in children with MS also requires a multifaceted approach and the available data of this topic will be examined. The remainder of this review will address treatment to reverse NAFLD and prevent progression to end-stage disease.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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