Association between inadequate sleep and insulin resistance in obese children

J Pediatr. 2007 Apr;150(4):364-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2006.08.063.


Objective: To analyze the relationships between sleep duration, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), and markers of insulin resistance in obese children.

Study design: Forty obese children were evaluated for sleep-related complaints. Each child underwent a polysomnogram, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), and fasting lipid panel tests. Indices of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR and WBISI) and insulin secretion (IGI) were calculated based on the results of the OGTT. Markers of insulin resistance were compared among groups categorized according to polysomnogram results.

Results: Subjects with shorter sleep duration had higher fasting insulin, peak insulin, and HOMA-IR levels and lower WBISI levels, findings suggestive of insulin resistance. In contrast, differences in body mass index z scores were not observed. Subjects with OSAS (32 of 40 children) had higher triglyceride levels and HOMA-IR values than those without OSAS, but did not differ in sleep duration. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that HOMA-IR was significantly correlated with age, sleep duration, and percentage of rapid-eye-movement sleep.

Conclusions: Insulin resistance in obese children is associated with short sleep duration and OSAS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Philadelphia / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin