Differences in cardiometabolic risk between insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant overweight and obese children

Unab I. Khan, Aileen P. McGinn, Carmen R. Isasi, Adriana Groisman-Perelstein, Pamela M. Diamantis, Mindy Ginsberg, Judith Wylie-Rosett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: It is known that 15-30% overweight/obese adults do not suffer cardiometabolic consequences. There is limited literature examining factors that can be used to assess cardiometabolic health in overweight/obese children. If such factors can be identified, they would aid in differentiating those most in need for aggressive management. Methods: Baseline data from 7- to 12-year-old, overweight, and obese children enrolled in a weight management program at an urban hospital were analyzed. Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) <2.6 was used to define insulin-sensitive and HOMA-IR ≥2.6 was used to defined insulin-resistant participants. Demographics, physical activity measures, and cardiometabolic risk factors were compared between the two phenotypes. Odds ratios (ORs) examining the association between intermediate endpoints (metabolic syndrome [MetS], nonalcoholic fatty liver disease [NAFLD], systemic inflammation, and microalbuminuria) and the two metabolic phenotypes were evaluated. Results: Of the 362 overweight/obese participants, 157 (43.5%) were insulin sensitive and 204 (56.5%) were insulin resistant. Compared to the insulin-sensitive group, the insulin-resistant group was older (8.6±1.6 vs. 9.9±1.7; p<0.001) and had a higher BMI z-score (1.89±0.42 vs. 2.04±0.42; p=0.001). After multivariable adjustment, compared to the insulin-sensitive group, the insulin-resistant group had higher odds of having MetS (OR, 5.47; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.72, 17.35; p=0.004) and NAFLD (OR, 8.66; 95% CI, 2.48, 30.31; p=0.001), but not systemic inflammation (OR, 1.06; 95% CI: 0.56, 2.03; p=0.86) or microalbuminuria (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 0.49, 6.04; p=0.403). Conclusions: Using a HOMA-IR value of ≥2.6, clinical providers can identify prepubertal and early pubertal children most at risk. Focusing limited resources on aggressive weight interventions may lead to improvement in cardiometabolic health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalChildhood Obesity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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