Different Criteria for the Definition of Insulin Resistance and Its Relation with Dyslipidemia in Overweight and Obese Children and Adolescents

Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2018 Jan;21(1):59-67. doi: 10.5223/pghn.2018.21.1.59. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


Purpose: to compare cut off points corrected for age and gender (COOP) with fixed cut off points (FCOP) for fasting plasma insulin and Homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) for the diagnosis of IR in obese children and adolescents and their correlation with dyslipidemia.

Methods: A multicenter, cross-sectional study including 383 subjects aged 7 to 18 years, evaluating fasting blood glucose, plasma insulin, and lipid profile. Subjects with high insulin levels and/or HOMA-IR were considered as having IR, based on two defining criteria: FCOP or CCOP. The frequency of metabolic abnormalities, the presence of IR, and the presence of dyslipidemia in relation to FCOP or CCOP were analyzed using Fisher and Mann-Whitney exact tests.

Results: Using HOMA-IR, IR was diagnosed in 155 (40.5%) and 215 (56.1%) patients and, using fasting insulin, 150 (39.2%) and 221 (57.7%), respectively applying FCOP and CCOP. The use of CCOP resulted in lower insulin and HOMA-IR values than FCOP. Dyslipidemia was not related to FCOP or CCOP. Blood glucose remained within normal limits in all patients with IR. There was no difference in the frequency of IR identified by plasma insulin or HOMA-IR, both for FCOP and CCOP.

Conclusion: The CCOP of plasma insulin or of HOMA-IR detected more cases of IR as compared to the FCOP, but were not associated with the frequency of dyslipidemia. As blood glucose has almost no fluctuation in this age group, even in the presence of IR, fasting plasma insulin detected the same cases of IR that would be detected by HOMA-IR.

Keywords: Adolescent; Child; Dyslipidemias; Insulin; Obesity.