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J Pediatr. 2008 Jul;153(1):65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.12.048. Epub 2008 Mar 6.

Association of arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction with metabolic syndrome in obese children.

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Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Armand-Trousseau Hospital, AP-HP, and INSERM, U872 Nutriomique, University Pierre and Marie Curie-Paris 6, Paris, France.



We investigated whether metabolic syndrome, defined in 3 different ways (2 commonly used and 1 novel) is associated with arterial alterations in obese children.


The study group comprised 384 obese children age 2.5 to 18 years. Blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, blood insulin, plasma lipids, and body composition were measured. Noninvasive ultrasound measurements were obtained in 161 patients to investigate arterial mechanical properties and endothelial function.


The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 10.4%. Intima-media thickness correlated positively with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = .21; P < .01) and negatively with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = -.17; P < .05). In adolescents (11 to 18 years), cross-sectional vascular compliance correlated negatively with abdominal fat (r = -.22; P = .02). The only synergistic effects among individual metabolic syndrome components was an effect of insulinemia and systolic blood pressure on cross-sectional compliance (4.05; P < .05). No significant difference in vascular variables was found between the patients with and without metabolic syndrome using any of the 3 definitions.


Metabolic syndrome in obese children is not related to arterial variables, whereas several of its individual components are associated with vascular alterations. These data suggest that the value of the metabolic syndrome as a predictor of future cardiovascular events in children remains to be prospectively evaluated. In the meantime, individual cardiovascular risk factors should be evaluated and controlled.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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