Fatness, lipids, insulin sensitivity, and life style of children from high and low risk families.J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2003 Jul-Sep; 15(3):6-9.JA
Children show variation in certain diabetes related risk factors according to the family history. Early detection of high risk groups could prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Insulin level and fatness of Pakistani children has never been compared according to family history. This study was designed to observe the differences in insulin sensitivity, lipids and fatness in children from high and low risk families.
Two groups of 8-10 year old school children were assessed for the differences in insulin sensitivity, lipids, fatness, food and activity habits. The first group had no family history for diabetes (low risk group, n = 40) in any first or second degree relative. The second group had positive family history of diabetes (high risk group n = 40) Data were collected through questionnaire sent to parents and children's interview. Blood test and anthropometric assessments were done at the schools by a physician.
The two groups of children had similar level of insulin sensitivity. Children having positive family history for diabetes had markedly higher mean values for BMI, and arm fat % as compared to the controls. Though the low risk group had markedly higher level of total lipids and triglycerides the high risk group had markedly lower HDL and significantly higher LDL (p = 0.008) and HDL-LDL (p = 0.009) ratio than the low risk group. There was no significant difference in food and activity habits of the two groups.
Marked variations in lipid profile of children from high and low risk families are evident at an early age. Presence of these differences in the absence of differences in food and activity habits and insulin sensitivity suggests that variation in lipid storage and metabolism could precede the appearance of reduced insulin sensitivity in children from high-risk families. Measures to control excessive fat deposition in childhood could be an initial step towards the prevention of diabetes and heart disease in adult life.