Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a complex disorder characterized by coexistence of several cardiometabolic (CM) factors, i.e. hyperlipidemia, obesity, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. The presence of MetS is strongly associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The syndrome was originally defined as an adult disorder, but MetS has become increasingly recognized in children and adolescents.
Methods: Genetic variants influence biological components common to the CM factors that comprise MetS. We investigated single locus associations between six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), previously shown to modulate lipid or sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels, with MetS in a Turkish pediatric cohort (37 cases, 323 controls).
Results: Logistic regression analysis revealed a significant association between rs1799941, located in SHBG, and MetS (OR = 3.09, p-value = 0.006). The association with MetS remained after sequential adjustment for each CM factor included in the syndrome definition, indicating that the identified association is not being driven by any single trait. A relationship between rs1799941 and SHBG levels, was also discovered, but it was dependent on MetS status. In control subjects, the A allele of rs1799941 associated with a significant increase in SHBG levels (p = 0.012), while in cases there was no association between rs1799941 and SHBG levels (p = 0.963).
Conclusions: The significant association between rs1799941 and MetS in children is not contingent on any single CM trait. Additionally, the presence of MetS may abrogate effect of rs1799941 polymorphism on SHBG levels in children.