FRIDAY, May 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — School children aged 6 to 8 years with overweight have cardiometabolic derangements, according to a study published online May 3 in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice to coincide with the Congress on Obesity, held from May 4 to 7 in Maastricht.

Christine Frithioff-Bøjsøe, M.D., Ph.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital Holbæk in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a prospective population-based cohort involving 335 preschool children (age 2.5 and 5 years) and 657 school children (aged 6 to 8 years) to examine the early detection of childhood overweight (including obesity) and related cardiometabolic complications. A subset of 392 children participated in hospital-based examinations, and were re-examined about one year later.

The researchers found that the prevalence of overweight was 13.73 and 13.69 percent in preschool and school children, respectively, at baseline. Minor differences were seen in cardiometabolic risk factors in preschool children with and without overweight, while school children with overweight had manifest cardiometabolic derangements, including significantly higher levels of fasting glucose, insulin, homoeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance, triglycerides, and alanine aminotransferase and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The prevalence of overweight did not change in preschool children during follow-up, but increased to 17.0 percent in school children.

“The present study suggests that early childhood — as early as age 2 to 5 years — is the time to detect these conditions, as complications from overweight, including derangements in glucose metabolism, may become evident when the children are just a few years older,” the authors write.

The study was partially funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

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