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Tommaso de Giorgis, M Loredana Marcovecchio, Ilaria Di Giovanni, Cosimo Giannini, Valentina Chiavaroli, Francesco Chiarelli and Angelika Mohn


To investigate whether there is an association of the triglyceride-to-HDL cholesterol (TG:HDL-C) ratio with cardiovascular risk factors and early signs of vascular damage in obese prepubertal children.

Design and methods

In 50 obese (27 boys, 7.8±1.4 years) and 37 normal-weight (20 boys; 7.3±1.5 years) prepubertal children, anthropometric measurements, oxidative stress markers (urinary isoprostanes (PGF2α (prostaglandin F2α)), soluble receptor for advanced glycation end-products (sRAGE)) and insulin sensitivity (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and whole-body insulin sensitivity index (WBISI)) were evaluated. Lipids profile was assessed and the TG:HDL-C ratio was calculated. In addition, high-resolution ultrasound was performed to assess carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT).


Obese children showed significantly higher values of the TG:HDL-C ratio (1.9±1.1 vs 1.2±0.6, P=0.002) compared with controls. After dividing the population in tertiles of the TG:HDL-C ratio (<1.04, 1.04–1.67, >1.67), cIMT (P=0.0003), and HOMA-IR (P=0.0001) progressively increased from the lower to the upper tertile, whereas WBISI (P=0.0003) and sRAGE (P=0.05) progressively decreased. In a regression model, the TG:HDL ratio was significantly and positively associated with cIMT (r=0.493; P=0.0005). A cutoff point for TG:HDL-C ratio of 1.12 had 81% sensitivity and 49% specificity in the identification of children with cIMT values in the upper quartile (Area under the curve values from receiver operating characteristic curves=0.633±0.065, P=0.045).


This study confirms the reliability of the TG:HDL-C ratio as a useful marker of cardiovascular risk. Interestingly, our results underline that the TG:HDL-C ratio is directly related with early signs of vascular damage already present in prepubertal children.

Free access

Valentina Chiavaroli, Marco Liberati, Francesco D'Antonio, Fabio Masuccio, Rita Capanna, Alberto Verrotti, Francesco Chiarelli and Angelika Mohn


GNRH analog (GNRHa) therapy has not been supported by beneficial effects on adult stature in girls with early puberty. Furthermore, an increased prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been described in girls treated for central precocious puberty. Women with PCOS are at increased risk of cardiometabolic dysfunctions and infertility. Our aim was to assess GNRHa effectiveness on reaching adult stature and the risk of PCOS in girls with early puberty.


Longitudinal study of GNRHa-treated and GNRHa-untreated girls at baseline and at final height.


Twenty-five GNRHa-treated girls and 55 controls were compared. Insulin resistance (IR; homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) and glucose-to-insulin ratio (G/I)), the effect of GNRHa on final height, and the prevalence of PCOS were assessed.


In GNRHa-treated girls, no significant difference was found between predicted final height and final height, whereas a significant difference was detected in untreated girls (P=0.0001). At final height, GNRHa-treated girls showed higher HOMA-IR and lower G/I (P=0.03 for both) as well as higher DHEAS and androstenedione levels (P=0.02 and P=0.01 respectively) than untreated girls. The prevalence of PCOS and hyperandrogenemia was significantly higher in GNRHa-treated adolescents than in untreated adolescents (36 and 14.5% respectively, P=0.04; 56 and 23.6% respectively, P=0.01). Finally, gonadotropin-suppressive therapy was significantly related to PCOS during adolescence (P=0.03).


In girls with early puberty, GNRHa therapy is associated with the achievement of predicted final height; nevertheless, this treatment seems to act as an independent risk factor for the development of PCOS already during adolescence.