University of Oulu

Vinciguerra, F.; Tumminia, A.; Baratta, R.; Ferro, A.; Alaimo, S.; Hagnäs, M.; Graziano, M.; Vigneri, R.; Frittitta, L. Prevalence and Clinical Characteristics of Children and Adolescents with Metabolically Healthy Obesity: Role of Insulin Sensitivity. Life 2020, 10, 127.

Prevalence and clinical characteristics of children and adolescents with metabolically healthy obesity : role of insulin sensitivity

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Author: Vinciguerra, Federica1; Tumminia, Andrea1; Baratta, Roberto2;
Organizations: 1Endocrinology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, 95122 Catania, Italy
2Diabetes, Obesity and Dietetic Center, Garibaldi-Nesima Medical Center, 95122 Catania, Italy
3Bionformatic Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
4Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
5Rovaniemi Health Center, 96200 Rovaniemi, Finland
6Institute of Crystallography, Structural Chemistry and Biosystems, CNR-ICCSB, Catania Section, 95126 Catania, Italy
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-10-19


Obesity represents a major risk factor for metabolic disorders, but some individuals, “metabolically healthy” (MHO), show less clinical evidence of these complications, in contrast to “metabolically unhealthy” (MUO) individuals. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to assess the prevalence of the MHO phenotype in a cohort of 246 overweight/obese Italian children and adolescents, and to evaluate their characteristics and the role of insulin resistance. Homeostasis model assessment–insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), insulin sensitivity index (ISI), insulinogenic index (IGI) and disposition index (DI) were all calculated from the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). MHO was defined by either: (1) HOMA-IR < 2.5 (MHO-IRes), or (2) absence of the criteria for metabolic syndrome (MHO-MetS). The MHO prevalence, according to MHO-MetS or MHO-IRes criteria, was 37.4% and 15.8%, respectively. ISI was the strongest predictor of the MHO phenotype, independently associated with both MHO-IRes and MHO-MetS. The MHO-MetS group was further subdivided into insulin sensitive or insulin resistant on the basis of HOMA-IR (either < or ≥ 2.5). Insulin sensitive MHO-MetS patients had a better metabolic profile compared to both insulin resistant MHO-MetS and MUO-MetS individuals. These data underscore the relevance of insulin sensitivity to identifying, among young individuals with overweight/obesity, the ones who have a more favorable metabolic phenotype.

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Series: Life
ISSN: 2075-1729
ISSN-E: 2075-1729
ISSN-L: 2075-1729
Volume: 10
Issue: 8
Article number: 127
DOI: 10.3390/life10080127
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (