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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011 Apr;6(2):157-60. doi: 10.3109/17477166.2010.482156. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

Sleep-disordered breathing in obese adolescents is associated with visceral adiposity and markers of insulin resistance.

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Division of Weight Management and Wellness, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Sleep-disordered breathing is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome in adults. Similar data in children is limited and conflicting. This pilot study examined the relationships between sleep-disordered breathing, visceral adiposity, and cardiometabolic risk factors in obese adolescents. Twenty obese (body mass index ≥ 95(th) percentile), otherwise healthy adolescents (age 14.9 ± 2 years) underwent polysomnogram studies, fasting lipid profile and oral glucose tolerance tests, and measures of body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and visceral adiposity (abdominal computed tomography). The severity of sleep-disordered breathing (as measured by apnea-hypopnea index) was positively associated with visceral adipose tissue (r = 0.73, p < 0.001) but not with other measures of body composition. After controlling for body mass index, the severity of sleep-disordered breathing was positively associated with markers of insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment and fasting insulin). Further study to allow for critical assessment of the relationships between sleep-disordered breathing and cardiometabolic risk factors in obese youth remains necessary.

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