BACKGROUND: The American Diabetes Association recommends risk-based screening for dysglycaemia (prediabetes and type 2 diabetes) in youth with overweight/obesity plus ≥1 risk factor. However, evidence for these recommendations is lacking.
OBJECTIVES: Examine the association between the number of risk factors and the prevalence of dysglycaemia in youth with overweight/obesity at initial presentation.
METHODS: In a paediatric obesity registry, youth (>10 and <20 years old, body mass index ≥85th percentile) were categorized into four groups according to number of risk factors (1, 2, 3 and ≥4). Based on oral glucose tolerance test, participants were classified into normal glucose tolerance or dysglycaemia.
RESULTS: Of 635 youth, 31.5% had prediabetes and 6.1% had type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of dysglycaemia was 23.1% with 1 risk factor and increased to 44.9% with ≥4 risk factors (p = 0.025). Dyslipidaemia, family history of type 2 diabetes and maternal history of gestational diabetes were significantly associated with dysglycaemia. Fasting and 2-h insulin, 2-h glucose increased (all p < 0.0001) and ALT increased (p = 0.001) with increasing risk factors. Insulin sensitivity and β-cell function deteriorated significantly with increasing risk factors.
CONCLUSION: Screening for dysglycaemia in youth with obesity and any additional risk factor is warranted to target early management.