A pilot study on metabolic syndrome and its associated features among Qatari schoolchildren
Nasser Rizk, Mona Amin, Mervat Yousef
Health Sciences Department, University of Qatar, Doha, Qatar
Aim: This pilot study aimed to evaluate the individual features of the metabolic syndrome (MeS) and its frequency in Qatari schoolchildren aged 6–12 years.
Background: MeS has a strong future risk for development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Childhood obesity is increasing the likelihood of MeS in children.
Methods: The associated features of MeS were assessed in 67 children. They were recruited from the outpatient pediatric clinic at Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar. Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured and body mass index was calculated for each child. Fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) were measured. MeS was defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-III) which was modified by Cook with adjustment for fasting glucose to ≥5.6 mM according to recommendations from the American Diabetes Association.
Results: The overall prevalence of MeS according to NCEP-III criteria was 3.0% in children aged 6–12 years. Overweight and obesity was 31.3% in children aged 6–12 years, according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria. The prevalence of MeS was 9.5% in overweight and obese subjects. Increased TG levels represented the most frequent abnormality (28.4%) in metabolic syndrome features in all subjects, followed by HDL-C (19.4%) in all subjects.
Conclusion: Increased TG levels and low HDL-C were the most frequent components of this syndrome. This study showed a significant prevalence of MeS and associated features among overweight and obese children. The overall prevalence of MeS in Qatari children is in accordance with data from several other countries.
Keywords: metabolic syndrome, National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III, schoolchildren, Qatar
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