Cardiovascular and Metabolic Complications – Diagnosis and Management in Obese Children
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The world at present is facing a burden of rising prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents. The developing countries are particularly facing the dual burden on under-nutrition and obesity. This is associated with appearance and clustering of cardiometabolic abnormalities at an early age with development of chronic complications early and possible decrease in life span of these children and adolescents. In adults this clustering has been termed as ‘metabolic syndrome’ with definitions that can be used universally. However, in children and adolescents there is no consensus on a uniform definition of metabolic syndrome that can be applicable across the age groups and various ethnicities. Further, as childhood is a period of growth and development, changes in body composition and insulin sensitivity that occur with puberty may influence the thresholds of components used to define metabolic syndrome. Children of South Asian ethnicity appear to be more predisposed to develop abnormalities of metabolic syndrome, possible due to their adverse body fat patterning and genetic influences. The definition of pediatric metabolic syndrome proposed by International Diabetes Federation is useful across different ethnicities. Presence of at least one component of metabolic syndrome should lead to detailed screening for other components and complications. A multimodality approach including therapeutic lifestyle changes targeted at the individual, family and community is essential for management. Pharmacotherapy for individual components may be required if initial management strategies fail to achieve the goals.
KeywordsChildhood obesity Asian Indians Insulin resistance Metabolic syndrome
The author acknowledges Prof. Vandana Jain for sharing her unpublished data for the manuscript.
Prof. Rita Sood, Head, Department of Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi.
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