Children with Down syndrome (DS) have a higher risk for obesity. Adiponectin plays a crucial role in obesity-related cardiometabolic comorbidities. The study aimed to explore whether body adiposity indicators, the frequency of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components, serum adiponectin and insulin resistance indices as well as the validity of serum adiponectin as a biomarker for MetS are different in prepubertal obese-DS children compared to matched obese-controls.
Cross-sectional study included 150 prepubertal children classfied into three groups; obese-DS (n=50), obese-control (n=50) and normal-weight-control (n=50). Participants were evaluated for waist-circumference (WC), body adiposity, serum triglycerides, HDL-C, adiponectin and Homeostasis-Model-Assessment of Insulin-Resistance (HOMA-IR). MetS was defined using modified Adult Treatment Panel III-criteria.
Obese-DS had significantly higher WC, %body fat, total-fat mass, trunk-fat mass, trunk/appendicular-fat mass ratio, triglycerides, insulin and HOMA-IR and significantly lower HDL-C values compared to obese-control. Higher prevalence of MetS and its components were observed in obese-DS that was evident at younger age. Adiponectin was significantly lower in obese-DS compared with obese-control and in obese-DS children with MetS compared to obesecontrol with MetS. The decrease in adiponectin with increasing grades of obesity was pronounced in obese-DS. Adiponectin exhibited strong correlations with body adiposity, several MetS components and HOMA-IR in obese-DS. Adiponectin performed better as a biomarker for MetS among obese-DS (AUC=0.808) than obese-control (AUC=0.674).
Prepubertal obese-DS displayed excess body adiposity with pronounced central fat distribution, atherogenic lipid profile and higher insulin resistance compared to matched obese-control. Adiponectin performed better as potential biomarker of MetS in obese-DS than obese-control.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.