Acanthosis nigricans is a skin symptom in obesity that helps to identify patients at high risk for dyslipidemia, hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes. It is the most important complication of obesity in metabolic syndrome. Studies investigating the relationship between acanthosis nigricans and metabolic syndrome in obese children are insufficient. In our study, the relationship of acanthosis nigricans and metabolic syndrome was evaluated in children.
Obese children aged between 6 and 18 years old, who were examined in the pediatric endocrinology outpatient clinic, were included. The patients’ anthropometric measurements and laboratory results were recorded. Modified IDF (International Diabetes Federation) criteria for children were used in metabolic syndrome classification.
A hundred and forty-eight obese children were evaluated. The mean age of the cases was 11.91 ± 2.94 years old. Of the cases, 56.1% were female (n=83) 43.9% (n=65) were male. In 39.9% (n=59) of cases, acanthosis nigricans was determined. Acanthosis nigricans was mostly located in the axillary area (27.1%) and the neck (16.9%). In 55.9% of the cases, it was located in more than one area. The relation of regionally detected acanthosis nigricans and metabolic syndrome was not significant (p=0.291). Metabolic syndrome was detected in 14% of 136 patients according to IDF criteria. Acanthosis nigricans and metabolic syndrome combination was present in 27.7%; however, 6.7% of the metabolic syndrome patients did not have acanthosis nigricans. There was a strong relation between metabolic syndrome and the presence of acanthosis nigricans (p=0.003).
In our study, a correlation between acanthosis nigricans and metabolic syndrome was detected. Acanthosis nigricans is a skin sign that can be easily detected by clinician. It is an important and easy-to-detect dermatosis that helps determine patients at risk of metabolic syndrome in obese children.