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Metabolic syndrome affects nearly 1 in 10 US teens
Date:1/25/2008

About nine percent of teenagers may have metabolic syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that put them on the path toward heart disease and diabetes in adulthood. This shocking statistic represents some of the first concentrated efforts to define and measure metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents a necessary starting point for combating the problem, but one that has proven even trickier in youth than it has been in adults.

With the number of obese children in the United States rising at an alarming rate, pediatricians, family practitioners and researchers are concerned about what it means to for childrens future health. The U.S. cholesterol guidelines have defined the metabolic syndrome for adults who have a cluster of risk factors, including increased waist circumference (central adiposity), hypertension (or elevated blood pressure), low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and an elevated fasting glucose. Even though these same components can be found in children, they have not been developed into a universal definition or diagnosis. In fact, they have only recently gained attention with the first publication on the syndrome by Stephen Cook, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in 2003, which was based on national data from 1988 to 1994.

In the summer of 2006, a handful of national experts were convened by the National Institutes of Health with a task to define the metabolic syndrome for children and adolescents. The Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome Working Group (PMSWG) chose to tackle this problem affecting overweight and obese youth, tapping Cook to participate. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases sponsored the conference.

As part of the committee, Cook performed a study,
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Contact: Heather Hare
heather_hare@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-2840
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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