Background: Mexican-American (MA) adults are known to have a greater burden of diabetes and insulin resistance than non-Hispanic white (NHW) people. In this report, we examined data obtained from MA and NHW third- grade children for evidence of a pattern consistent with the insulin resistance syndrome. In addition, we developed two summary measures characterizing insulin resistance syndrome to compare measures of this syndrome among our population. Methods and Results: Data regarding fasting insulin, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI) were available for 403 third-grade children. Median levels of insulin and glucose were significantly higher in MA boys and girls than in NHW boys and girls. Risk factors characterizing insulin resistance, including levels of insulin, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, and BMI were categorized as above or below the total population median. MA children were more likely than NHW children to have three or more adverse risk factors (55% versus 37%). When risk factors were converted to Z scores, and the five Z scores were summed for each individual, MA boys and girls had higher mean scores than NHW boys and girls (means for boys, 0.65 versus - 0.97, P<.0001; girls, 0.52 versus -0.30, P<.04). Principal components analysis was used to create a summary score or index representing the insulin resistance syndrome. This summary score was significantly higher among MA boys and girls than NHW boys and girls (means for boys, 0.34 versus -0.72, P<.0001; girls, 0.35 versus -0.04, P=.056). Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that MA children exhibit a greater degree of the insulin resistance syndrome than NHW children, especially among boys. We conclude that some of the factors responsible for the increased risk of NIDDM seen among MA adults are demonstrable in childhood.
- Coronary disease
- Risk factors