Metabolic syndrome in 10?16-year-old learners from the Western Cape, South Africa: Comparison of the NCEP ATP III and IDF criteria

08 Jun 2020

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been reported to predispose to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease in adults. Differences in the prevalence rates of MetS in children based on various definitions have been reported [ 1 , 2 , 3 ]. Irrespective of the definition used to define MetS in children, investigators have shown the presence of MetS in early childhood and an increased prevalence in overweight and obese individuals, and this poses a serious problem as childhood MetS is thought to persist through adulthood [ 4 , 5 ]. MetS is also observed in normal-weight individuals and those are considered to be metabolically obese normal-weight [ 6 , 7 ]. The few studies that have been conducted in developing countries have shown a relatively high prevalence of MetS that is paralleled by the increasing obesity in children and adolescents [ 8 ]. Despite the high prevalence of obesity reported in South African children [ 9 ], there is limited data on the prevalence of MetS in this population group. The aim of our study was to identify South African children from different racial groups with the MetS using either the NCEP ATP III or the IDF definitions, and determine the proportion of normal-weight children that are metabolically obese.