Cardiometabolic risk factors prediction in youth: Body mass index is not enough…
A recent article from LIH’s Department of Population Health, first authored by Dr Hanen Samouda, appeared in the international journal “BMC Pediatrics”.
The paper, related to the OSPEL study (Obésité et Surcharge Pondérale de l’Enfant au Luxembourg), aimed to optimise the prediction of several cardiometabolic risk factors in obese children, through a simple and inexpensive anthropometric method. The Authors found that "adding anthropometric measures of regional adiposity to body mass index (BMI) improves the prediction of cardiometabolic, inflammatory and adipokines profiles in youth".
Actually, adiposity in youth may lead to biological abnormalities such as elevated fasting glycaemia concentrations, insulin resistance, inflammation, high levels of triglycerides and/or high blood pressure. Certain experts have suggested that only BMI constitutes an accurate predictor of these abnormalities, while others rather argued for abdominal fat assessment only, through waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio or waist-to-height ratio measurement. Nevertheless, to predict cardiovascular risk factors and diseases more accurately, adult studies have shown the importance to associate both BMI and regional adiposity distribution measurements.
As no such studies have been conducted in youth yet, Samouda and Co-authors tested in this paper the ability of the “BMI and waist circumference”, “BMI and waist-to-hip ratio” as well as “BMI and waist-to-height ratio” associations to predict cardiometabolic risk factors in 7-17 years old overweight and obese children visiting the Diabetes & Endocrinology Care Paediatrics Clinic, Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL). The cross-sectional study included 203 participants.
‘We have found that anthropometric assessment of abdominal fat, in addition to BMI, have significantly improved the prediction of several cardiometabolic risk factors compared to BMI alone.’ tells Dr Samouda. ‘These anthropometric measurements are easy, inexpensive and non-invasive and should thus be included in the clinical/epidemiological examination of excess-weight children and adolescents which is unfortunately still missing in Luxembourg for lack of national reference growth curves describing age- and sex-specific abdominal fat distribution in children. Currently, physicians and researchers have to refer to curves from other countries, which are not adapted to Luxembourg’s young population,’ she states.
This study, led by LIH, was carried out in collaboration with Kannerklinik and Centre of CHL, Zithaklinik (Hôpitaux Robert Schuman), University of Lille (France) and was funded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR) and the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR).