Obesity Tied To Impaired Glucose Tolerance In Children, Youth

Impaired glucose tolerance is present in 25 percent of obese children and 21 percent of obese adolescents, some of whom also have clinically asymptomatic or silent type 2 diabetes.

These are among findings of the first study to document the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance in obese children.

Insulin resistance is an important risk factor linked to the development of impaired glucose tolerance in severe childhood obesity, this United States study suggests. The findings add weight to concerns about an emerging paediatric epidemic of type 2 diabetes and, if that cannot be averted, the consequences as affected children become adults and the long-term complications of the disease develop.

Although severe obesity is known to play a prominent role in pathogenesis of the disease, it has been unknown until now whether it is a risk factor for impaired glucose tolerance.

In adults, type 2 diabetes develops over a long period; most patients initially have impaired glucose tolerance, an intermediate stage in the natural history of this disease. Because progression from impaired glucose tolerance to frank diabetes can be delayed or prevented, greater emphasis is now placed on its early detection.

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