, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 141-147
Date: 13 Dec 2006

Insulin resistance in children and adolescents

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IR is hypothesized to be the important pathophysiologic link between adiposity and future development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A variety of methods for measuring IR have been validated in children, from the gold-standard hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp, to simple fasting measures based on fasting insulin and glucose levels. Studies have shown that there are a number of important risk factors for IR in children, including adiposity and visceral adiposity, race/ethnicity, puberty, a family history of type 2 diabetes, sex, and being small for gestational age or prematurity. However, obesity represents the critical risk factor for IR in children. Greater than 50% of obese adolescents in the US have IR. Formal assessment of IR in obese children may represent an important strategy for improving the efficacy of pharmacologic therapy for weight loss and chronic disease prevention.