Cardiovascular risk in 26,008 European overweight children as established by a multicenter database

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jul;16(7):1672-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.259. Epub 2008 May 1.


Objective: Although the obesity epidemic is progressing in European children too, there is no consensus on the population-specific prevalence of comorbidities or efficient diagnostic strategies. Therefore, weight-related risk factors, their interrelationship, and association with biological parameters were assessed in a large group of overweight (OW) children, documented by an electronic database.

Methods and procedures: Data of 26,008 children (age 12.6+/-2.9 years, 56% females) presented for OW (BMI >90th percentile) or obesity (>97th percentile) in 98 specialized centers were evaluated using a simple software (Adipositas Patienten Verlaufsbeobachtung (APV)) for standardized longitudinal documentation. After local anonymization, data were transmitted for central analysis including multiple logistic regression.

Results: A total of 5.9% of the children were normal weight, 41% obese (OB), and 37% extremely OB (>99.5th percentile, XXL; 41% of the girls). In 50%, at least one risk factor and in 11% a cluster of two were found, comprising increased blood pressure (BP): 35.4%, dyslipidemia: 32% (total cholesterol: 14.1%, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol: 15.8%, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol: 11.1%, triglycerides: 14.3%), impaired glucose tolerance (IGtT): 6.5% and suspicion of diabetes: 0.7%. The degree of OW was inversely associated with HDL-cholesterol and directly with clustered risk factors, impaired glucose metabolism, increased BP and triglycerides (odds ratios (ORs) XXL vs. normal=6.15, >10, 4.3, 3.0 and 2.5, respectively), but not with LDL-cholesterol.

Discussion: In a very large cohort of young Europeans risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) diseases are frequently found, related to the degree of OW and tend to cluster, thus a comprehensive screening is justified in all OW or OB children. Electronic patient documentation is feasible in a large obesity care network.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / complications*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index