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Overweight Hispanic children at significant risk for pre-diabetes, according to new USC study
Date:8/12/2008

eir bodies were unable to fully compensate to maintain blood glucose at an appropriate level, and they had increasing accumulation of visceral fat or deposition of fat around the organs. Both of these outcomes point towards progression in risk towards type 2 diabetes.

"What this study shows is that doctors should be doing regular monitoring of these children over time, because a one-time checkup might not be enough to tell if they are at risk for developing diabetes," Goran says.

Visceral fat, which pads the spaces between abdominal organs, has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Increased obesity has been identified as a major determinant of insulin resistance. Lower beta-cell function is a key component in the development of type 2 diabetes, as the cells are unable to produce enough insulin to adequately compensate for the insulin resistance.

"To better treat at-risk children we need better ways to monitor beta-cell function and visceral fat buildup," Goran says. "Those are tough to measure but are probably the main factors determining who will get type 2 diabetes."

Future studies will examine different interventions, including improving beta-cell function and reducing visceral fat.

"The study provides great insight into the risk factors that lead to the progression towards type 2 diabetes in this population," says Francine Kaufman, professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and head of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, who was not directly involved in the study. "Only by understanding how this devastating disease develops will be able to begin taking steps to prevent it."


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Contact: Meghan Lewit
lewit@usc.edu
323-442-3941
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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