Several cutoff points of the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR; varying from 2.5 to 4.0) have been suggested for diagnosing IR in youth. In this study, we determined the distribution of the HOMA-IR in Mexican children and adolescents.
Design and methods
A total of 6132 children and adolescents from San Luis Potosi, León, Queretaro, and Durango, which are cities in central and northern Mexico, were enrolled in a population-based cross-sectional study. Eligible participants were apparently healthy children and adolescents aged 6–18 years. Pregnancy and the presence of chronic illnesses were exclusion criteria.
A total of 3701 (60.3%) girls and 2431 (39.7%) boys were included in this study. In the overall population, the mean body mass index, insulin levels, and fasting glucose levels were 21.8±1.3 kg/m2, 7.1±3.2 μU/ml, and 86.2±10.0 mg/dl respectively. The concentrations of insulin and fasting glucose gradually increased from 6 to 12 years of age, whereas the concentrations tended to plateau in the 13- to 18-year-old population. The absolute mean of the HOMA-IR was 2.89±0.7. The HOMA-IR gradually increased with age and reached a plateau at 13 years of age.
Because the insulin concentrations, glucose levels, and HOMA-IR exhibited a gradual increase with age that was not related to obesity, our results suggested that the evaluation of IR in children should be based on percentiles of the HOMA-IR rather than a dichotomous value derived from a single cutoff point.