BMI and hyperinsulinemia in children

Clin Biochem. 2009 Sep;42(13-14):1427-30. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2009.06.011. Epub 2009 Jun 25.


Objectives: Overweight is associated with hyperinsulinemia in adults and children. The aim of our study was to test if body mass index (BMI) alone or in combination with waist circumference (WC) predicts hyperinsulinemia in individual children.

Methods: In 466 healthy German schoolchildren aged 7 to 12 years enrolled in the population based PEP Family Heart Study, anthropometric data, standard laboratory data and fasting serum insulin concentrations were assessed.

Results: Among children with hyperinsulinemia (fasting serum insulin concentrations>85th age specific percentile), 56% were not overweight (BMI-for-age<85th percentile). Among overweight children, 54% were normoinsulinemic. Increased waist circumference (WC for age and gender>85th percentile) was not a better predictor of hyperinsulinemia, neither alone nor in combination with BMI.

Conclusion: Overweight and abdominal obesity are poor indicators of hyperinsulinemia in individual German school children aged 7 to 12 years. Insulin measurement seems to be necessary to reliably detect hyperinsulinemia.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Biometry
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / blood
  • Hyperinsulinism / diagnosis*
  • Hyperinsulinism / physiopathology
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Overweight
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist Circumference*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol