Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome at baseline and after 6 months of lifestyle modification among obese adolescents referred to a multidisciplinary weight management program.
Methods: A total of 165 obese adolescents were evaluated at baseline, and measurements were repeated in 57 subjects who completed 6 months of the program. Metabolic syndrome was defined as having three or more of the following: a body mass index (BMI) >97(th) percentile, hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), hypertriglyceridemia, and impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
Results: The prevalence of a BMI >97(th) percentile, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-C, and IFG was 92.7, 54.5, 29.1, 26.7, and 2.4%, respectively. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome at baseline was 30.3%. After 6 months of lifestyle modification, BMI z scores, percent body fat, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) decreased significantly from baseline; however, there was no significant change in the number of subjects demonstrating >or=three criteria of the metabolic syndrome.
Conclusions: Approximately one third of the study subjects met the criteria of the metabolic syndrome, emphasizing the growing concern for the future development of premature cardiovascular disease in this high-risk population. Our data suggest that new strategies for lifestyle modification may be needed to improve cardiovascular risk factors significantly among adolescents with obesity.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00167830.