Metabolic syndrome in the pediatric population: a short overview

Natasa Marcun Varda

Abstract

The metabolic syndrome (MS) in adults is defined as a concurrence of obesity, disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism, hypertension and dyslipidemia, and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Studies now indicate that many of its components are also present in children and adolescents. Moreover, the clustering of these risk factors has been documented in some children, who are at increased cardiovascular risk in adulthood. The MS is highly prevalent among overweight children and adolescents. Identifying these children is important for early prevention and treatment of different components of the syndrome. The first-line treatment comprises lifestyle modification consisting of diet and exercise. The most effective tool for prevention of the MS is to stop the development of childhood obesity. The first attempt of consensus-based pediatric diagnostic criteria was published in 2007 by the International Diabetes Federation. Nevertheless, national prevalence data, based on uniform pediatric definition, protocols for prevention, early recognition and effective treatment of pediatric MS are still needed. The aim of this article is to provide a short overview of the diagnosis and treatment options of childhood MS, as well as to present the relationships between MS and its individual components.

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Submitted: 2009-01-30 06:39:19
Published: 2009-06-05 09:23:19
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