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Open Access Research

Insulin resistance determined by Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) and associations with metabolic syndrome among Chinese children and teenagers

Jinhua Yin13, Ming Li1*, Lu Xu1, Ying Wang1, Hong Cheng2, Xiaoyuan Zhao2 and Jie Mi2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endocrinology, Key Laboratory of Endocrinology, Ministry of Health, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College (CAMS & PUMC), Beijing 100730, China

2 Department of Epidemiology, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing 100020, China

3 Department of Endocrinology, First Affiliated Hospital, Shanxi Medical University, Shanxi 030001, China

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Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 2013, 5:71  doi:10.1186/1758-5996-5-71

Published: 15 November 2013

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study is to assess the association between the degree of insulin resistance and the different components of the metabolic syndrome among Chinese children and adolescents. Moreover, to determine the cut-off values for homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) at MS risk.

Methods

3203 Chinese children aged 6 to 18 years were recruited. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured. Metabolic syndrome (MS) was identified by a modified Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) definition. HOMA-IR index was calculated and the normal reference ranges were defined from the healthy participants. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to find the optimal cutoff of HOMA-IR for diagnosis of MS.

Results

With the increase of insulin resistance (quintile of HOMA-IR value), the ORs of suffering MS or its related components were significantly increased. Participants in the highest quintile of HOMA-IR were about 60 times more likely to be classified with metabolic syndrome than those in the lowest quintile group. Similarly, the mean values of insulin and HOMA-IR increased with the number of MS components. The present HOMA-IR cutoff point corresponding to the 95th percentile of our healthy reference children was 3.0 for whole participants, 2.6 for children in prepubertal stage and 3.2 in pubertal period, respectively. The optimal point for diagnosis of MS was 2.3 in total participants, 1.7 in prepubertal children and 2.6 in pubertal adolescents, respectively, by ROC curve, which yielded high sensitivity and moderate specificity for a screening test. According to HOMA-IR > 3.0, the prevalence of insulin resistance in obese or MS children were 44.3% and 61.6% respectively.

Conclusions

Our data indicates insulin resistance is common among Chinese obese children and adolescents, and is strongly related to MS risk, therefore requiring consideration early in life. As a reliable measure of insulin resistance and assessment of MS risk, the optimal HOMA-IR cut-off points in this cohort were developed with variation regarding puberty. HOMA-IR may be useful for early evaluating insulin resistance in children and teenagers and could have a long-term benefit of preventive and diagnostic therapeutic intervention.

Keywords:
Homeostasis model assessment; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Children; Teenagers