Defining the metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents: will the real definition please stand up?

J Pediatr. 2008 Feb;152(2):160-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.07.056. Epub 2007 Oct 31.


Objectives: To review the use of definitions of the metabolic syndrome in studies of children and adolescents and to review results from studies that used factor analysis to examine structure among cardiometabolic variables.

Study design: Literature review.

Results: In 27 publications, authors used 40 unique definitions of the metabolic syndrome. Most of these definitions were adaptations of the adult definition developed by the National Cholesterol Education Program. In 11 studies that used exploratory factor analysis, the number of components ranged from 5 to 19, and the number of factors identified ranged from 1 to 5.

Conclusions: The use of multiple definitions of the metabolic syndrome argues strongly for the development of a standard pediatric definition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors