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New Definition Helps Identify Children at Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

syndrome can be diagnosed with abdominal obesity (using waist circumference percentiles) and the presence of two or more other clinical features (elevated triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, high blood pressure, increased plasma glucose). Although some of these as well as body size and proportions change with age and development, in the absence of contemporary definitive data, the criteria adhere to the absolute values in IDF's adult definition. The exception is that one (rather than a sex-specific) cut-off is used for HDL. For children older than 16, the IDF adult criteria can be used.

"Early detection followed by treatment-particularly lifestyle intervention-is vital to halt the progression of the metabolic syndrome and safeguard the future health of children and adolescents", said Professor Sir George Alberti, IDF past President and co-author of the definition. "We call on governments to create environments that allow for lifestyle changes. This will require a coordinated approach across all sectors including health, education, sports and agriculture, but it is the only way we can curb the burden of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease".

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is the global advocate for almost 250 million people with diabetes worldwide. It represents 200 diabetes associations in more than 150 countries. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. IDF is a non-governmental organization in official relations with the World Health Organization.


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