Insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk in the pediatric patient

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26 Scopus citations


The insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of potent risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adults, is composed of hyerinsulinemia, obesity, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. In addition, left ventricular hypertrophy and its precursor increased left ventricular mass, is known to be a powerful predictor of adverse cardiovascular events, both as an independent risk factor and by association with the insulin resistance syndrome. Obesity appears to have a major role in the relations between the components of the insulin resistance syndrome, and their association with increased heart mass. Of significant impact in the adult population, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and death are rarely seen in the young, but the pathologic processes and risk factors associated with its development have been shown to begin during childhood. Recent studies revealed the presence of components of the insulin resistance syndrome also in children and adolescents, however, their associations are not well understood. A direct link between obesity and insulin resistance has also been reported in the young, as has the link between insulin resistance and abnormal lipid profile. There is an increasing amount of data to show that being overweight during childhood and adolescence is significantly associated with insulin resistance, abnormal lipids and elevated blood pressure in young adulthood. Weight loss in these situations results in a decrease in insulin concentration and an increase in insulin sensitivity toward normalcy. Moreover, it has been determined that increased left ventricular mass is present in childhood, and is related to other risk factors, namely obesity and insulin resistance. Based on current knowledge, it is reasonable to suggest that weight control, and lifestyle modification, could alter the incidence of the syndrome of insulin resistance, and improve the risk profiles for cardiovascular disease as children make the transition toward adolescence and young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Pediatric cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Children
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Obesity


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