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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


SAPUNAR, Jorge et al. High prevalence of overweight, obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in rural children and adolescents. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.9, pp.978-986. ISSN 0034-9887.


Childhood and adolescent obesity is a major public health problem in Chile.


To characterize cardiometabolic risk factors in a population of schoolchildren from Carahue, Chile.

Material and Methods:

Cross-sectional assessment of 208 children aged 10.4 ± 1.0 years (106 women). A clinical evaluation was carried out including pubertal development according to Tanner and anthropometric parameters. A fasting blood sample was obtained to measure glucose, insulin and lipid profile. HOMA-IR and Quicki indices were calculated. Insulin resistance (IR) was established according to Burrows criteria and Barja criteria, previously proposed for the Chilean pediatric population. The metabolic syndrome (MetS) was established using the modified Cook criteria.


Thirty eight percent of children had overweight and 33.1% obesity. MetS was only observed in obese subjects and the frequency in this subgroup was 38%. The prevalence of IR was 51% according to the Burrows criteria and 19% according to Barja criteria. It was more common in participants who were overweight, obese or had abdominal obesity. Children with insulin resistance according to Barja criteria, had worse anthropometric measures than their counterparts without resistance. When Burrows criteria was used, no differences in anthropometric measures were observed between participants with or without resistance. The frequency of MetS was 26 and 18% in children with insulin resistance according to Barja and Burrows criteria, respectively. Insulin levels and insulin sensitivity indexes were positively correlated with anthropometric parameters.


There was a high prevalence of overweight, obesity and MetS in these participants. Our results suggest that the IR criteria according to Barja allows to identify cases with higher metabolic risk.

Keywords : Insulin Resistance; Metabolic Syndrome; Pediatric Obesity.

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