, Volume 170, Issue 1, pp 35-43

Preliminary data on the association between waist circumference and insulin resistance in children without a previous diagnosis

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The aim of the present work was to study the association between different anthropometric parameters and insulin resistance (IR) in Spanish schoolchildren without a previous diagnosis. A total of 443 Spanish schoolchildren (9–11 years of age) were studied in this cross-sectional study. The anthropometric measurements collected were weight, height, body circumferences and skinfolds. Body mass index (BMI), waist/hip ratio, percentage body fat and fat-free body mass were determined. Overnight-fasted blood lipids, insulin and glucose levels were analysed, and estimation of IR, taking into account the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), was calculated. The children with IR had higher serum triglycerides and insulin levels, were heavier and taller, and had a higher BMI, a larger waist circumference, a larger hip circumference, a larger waist/hip ratio and thicker bicipital and tricipital skinfolds than those who did not have IR. Age, sex, BMI and waist circumference explained 32.0% of the variance in the HOMA values; only sex, triglycerides and waist circumference independently influenced this variable. A 1-cm increase in waist circumference was associated with approximately a 3.8% increase in the mean HOMA value. The children with a waist circumference of over the p90 for their age and sex were at greater risk of showing IR as measured by the HOMA: odds ratio = 6.94 (2.01–23.91; P < 0.001). In conclusion, according to these results, waist circumference is the best anthropometric parameter associated with IR in children, and those with a waist circumference of over the p90 for their age and sex would appear to be at particular risk.