Evia-Viscarra, Guardado-Mendoza (2020) Comparison between metabolically healthy obesity and metabolically unhealthy obesity by different definitions among Mexican children Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism : JPEM 33(2) 215-222


Background There is no consensus on the definition of metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) and the diagnostic criteria in children. Objectives To estimate the prevalence of MHO and compare clinical and biochemical characteristics between MHO and metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUO), and to evaluate the association between MUO and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, anthropometrics and family background using different definitions in children. Methods This was a cross-sectional study. Participants included 224 obese children between the years 2007 and 2017. MHO was defined by three different criteria: (i) absence of metabolic syndrome (MHO-MS), (ii) no insulin resistance (IR) by homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) <3.16 cut-off (MHO-IR3.16) and (iii) absence of IR at <95th percentile for Mexican children (MHO-95th). Results The prevalence of MHO-MS, MHO-IR3.16 and MHO-IR95th was 12.9%, 56.3% and 41.5%, respectively. The prevalence of simultaneous MHO-MS plus MHO-IR95th was 5.36%. Children with MHO-MS vs. MUO-MS showed lower height, weight and body mass index (BMI) percentiles; MHO-IR3.16 vs. MUO-IR3.16 showed lower age, acanthosis, Tanner, waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and glucose; and MHO-IR95th vs. MUO-IR95th showed lower acanthosis, WC, DBP, glucose and high high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). MUO-MS was associated with WC > 90th, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in first-degree relatives and obesity in siblings. MUO-IR3.16 was associated with pubertal stages, WC > 90th, WHtR > 0.55 and fasting hyperglycemia. MUO-IR95th was associated with WHtR > 0.55 and HDL < 10th. MHO-MS and MHO-IR3.16 or MHO-IR95th did not have agreement. Conclusions The prevalence of MHO varied depending on the definition, although the real MHO with no MS or IR is very low. Low DBP and high HDL-C in MHO were present in any definition. Association of MUO with anthropometric, biochemical and family background differs across definitions.



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