Objectives: To evaluate the cardiovascular and endocrine effects of childhood obesity as well as prevalence of metabolic syndrome associated with it.
Methods: 49 obese and overweight children aged between 6 and 11 years as study group and 45 healthy non-obese controls of same age were selected for the study. Both the groups were evaluated for height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting serum lipid fractions, insulin level, fasting and post-prandial blood glucose and C-reactive protein. Screening for metabolic syndrome was performed following most acceptable criteria.
Results: The study group children had significantly higher blood pressure, altered lipid fractions and high C-reactive Protein. Criteria-wise insulin resistance, hypertriglyceridemia and low high density lipoprotein also were found at significantly higher rate among obese children. The metabolic syndrome existed at a high prevalence of 14.1% in the study group.
Conclusions: Obesity in childhood causes cardiovascular and endocrine dysregulation with onset of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome even in absence of significant evidence of hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus in this age group.