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Pediatr Res. 1996 Jul;40(1):77-81.

Lipoprotein changes in relation to body mass index in Native American adolescents.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City 73190, USA.


In view of their known high incidence of noninsulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM), we sought to determine whether Native American (Plains Indian) children and adolescents show evidence of risk factors for both NIDDM and cardiovascular disease. Children and adolescents between the ages of 4 and 19 y were recruited, and field days were organized for data collection, which included height, weight [to compute body mass index (BMI)], waist and hip circumference, family histories, quantum of Native American ancestry, and blood sampling for fasting lipids, apolipoproteins, insulin, and glucose. BMI increased with age in boys and girls and tended to be higher than in Caucasian children. The difference was significant in 5-9-y-old (p < 0.05) and 10-14-y-old (p < 0.05) boys and 10-14-y-old girls (p < 0.001). Ten- to 14-y-old girls in the highest quartile for BMI had higher triglyceride levels (p < 0.05) and lower HDL cholesterol (p < 0.001) when compared with those in the lower quartiles. In contrast, 15-19 y olds in the highest quartile for BMI had higher cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B (p < 0.001). The mean fasting insulin levels were not related to BMI. The data suggest that, within this Plains Indian population, obesity associated with elevated lipid levels tends to begin at an early age in Native American children. Insulin levels do not appear to be related to BMI, a putative index of adiposity, in this population of children known to be prone to NIDDM in adult life.

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