, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 289-295
Date: 01 Oct 2011

Prevalence of insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance in a sample of obese spanish children and adolescents

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The prevalence of obesity in children has increased in developed countries in the last decades. It is associated with alterations in glucose metabolism that may be present in childhood. To assess the frequency of glucose metabolism alterations and insulin resistance and their possible determinants in a sample of obese children from Valladolid (Spain), we retrospectively studied 100 obese children and adolescents (11.59 ± 2.73 years). Anthropometric measures, biochemical parameters, and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were performed. Insulin resistance was evaluated with fasting insulin, HOMA index, and insulin values in OGTT. Impaired glucose tolerance was found in 15% of the sample, and was the most frequent of glucose metabolism alterations. Impaired fasting glucose was found in 2%. No case of type 2 diabetes was found. Acanthosis nigricans was present in 22%, with predominance in females, but not all presented insulin resistance. The prevalence of insulin resistance was 29% when HOMA index was used, and 50% when the insulin response in OGTT was used. Not all patients with impaired glucose tolerance had a pathological HOMA index, and not all with pathological HOMA index presented insulin resistance when insulin values in OGTT were used. Higher 2-h post-OGTT insulin levels were found in children with impaired glucose tolerance. It is paramount to identify young people with glucose regulation alterations for early, intensive intervention to prevent or at least postpone the onset of type 2 diabetes. OGTT is a screening tool necessary to fulfill this objective.