THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Eight pediatric obesity subtypes have been identified, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in PLOS Digital Health.

Elizabeth A. Campbell, from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and colleagues used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify potential subtypes formed by temporal condition patterns surrounding pediatric obesity incidence identified in a previous study. Eight classes were identified in the LCA model.

The researchers found that patients in Class 1 had a high prevalence of respiratory and sleep disorders, while those in Class 2 had high rates of inflammatory skin conditions. Class 3 included patients with a high prevalence of seizure disorders, and Class 4 patients had a high prevalence of asthma. A clear characteristic morbidity pattern was lacking for patients in Class 5, while those in Classes 6, 7, and 8 had a high prevalence of gastrointestinal issues, neurodevelopmental disorders, and physical symptoms, respectively. Individuals tended to have high membership probability for a single class (>70 percent), suggesting that within individual groups, there was shared clinical characterization.

“Our LCA modelling results suggest the existence of obesity subtypes,” the authors write. “The clinical subtypes identified in our study can serve as hypothesis generation for such patient classes, whose future health outcomes can be explored. This would allow more specialized clinical care for obese pediatric patients with certain comorbidities.”

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