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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


UBINA-AZNAR, Esther et al. Insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome are related to the severity of steatosis in the pediatric population with obesity. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2017, vol.109, n.11, pp.772-777. ISSN 1130-0108.

Background: To determine the factors associated with an increased risk for severe steatosis (SS) and establish the Homeostatic Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) as a screening tool. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in obese children to assess the relationship between the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and glucose metabolism alterations (GMA) and the risk for severe steatosis. Results: A total of 94 children (51 males) aged from six to 14 years were included. Thirteen children (14.8%) had severe steatosis (SS). The anthropometric variables associated with SS included body mass index (BMI) (SS 34.1 vs non-SS 29.7, p = 0.005), waist circumference (cm) (100 vs 92.5, p = 0.015) and hip circumference (cm) (108 vs 100, p = 0.018). The blood parameters included alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (UI/dl) (27 vs 21, p = 0.002), gamma-glutamil transpeptidase (GGT) (UI/dl) (16 vs 15, p = 0.017), fasting glycemia (mg/dl) (96 vs 88, p = 0.006), fasting insulin (UI/dl) (25 vs 15.3, p < 0.001) and HOMA-IR score (7.1 vs 3.7, p < 0.001). Eighteen children with MetS were found to be at an increased risk for severe steatosis (odds ratio [OR] 11.36, p < 0.001). After receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, the best area under the curve (AUC) was obtained for HOMA-R of 0.862. The HOMA-R 4.9 cut-off value had a 100% sensitivity (CI 95%: 96.2-100) and 67.9% specificity (CI 95%: 57.1-78.7) for severe steatosis. Conclusions: The presence of MetS and glucose metabolism alterations are risk factors for severe steatosis. The 4.9 cut-off value for HOMA-IR may be a risk factor for severe steatosis in obese children.

Keywords : Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; Liver steatosis; Pediatric obesity; Metabolic syndrome; Insulin resistance.

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