Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of pediatric metabolic syndrome components in relation to adult metabolic syndrome: the Princeton LRC follow-up study

J Pediatr. 2008 Feb;152(2):185-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.08.007. Epub 2007 Oct 22.


Objective: To estimate the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of pediatric metabolic syndrome (MetS) components (obesity, fasting glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, and blood pressure) at various cutoff points in relation to adult MetS.

Study design: Data from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Lipid Research Clinics Princeton Prevalence Study (1973-1976) and the Princeton Follow-up Study (2000-2004) were used to calculate sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for each component at a given cutoff point and for aggregates of components.

Results: Individual pediatric components alone showed low to moderate sensitivity, high specificity, and moderate predictive values in relation to adult MetS. When all 5 pediatric MetS components were considered, the presence of at least 1 abnormality had higher sensitivity for adult MetS than individual components alone. When multiple abnormalities were mandatory for MetS, positive predictive value was high and sensitivity was low. Childhood body mass alone showed neither high sensitivity nor high positive predictive value for adult MetS.

Conclusions: Considering multiple metabolic variables in childhood can improve the predictive usefulness for adult MetS, compared with each component or body mass alone. MetS variables may be useful for identifying some children who are at risk for prevention interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Lipids
  • Glucose