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Angelo Tropeano, Domenico Corica, Alessandra Li Pomi, Giorgia Pepe, Letteria Anna Morabito, Selenia Lorenza Curatola, Celeste Casto, Tommaso Aversa, and Malgorzata Wasniewska

Objective: Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardio-metabolic risk factors associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In the last two decades, several definitions of metabolic syndrome have been proposed for the pediatric population; all of them agree on the defining components but differ in the suggested criteria for diagnosis. This review aims to analyze the current diagnostic criteria of metabolic syndrome in pediatrics with a reference to their feasibility and reliability in clinical practice.

Methods: The systemic research was conducted from January 2003 to June 2020 through MEDLINE via PubMed, Cochrane Library and EMBASE databases.

Results: After the selection phase, a total of 15 studies (182 screened) met the inclusion and exclusion criteria and hence they were reported in the present review. Twelve studies were cross-sectional, 2 were longitudinal and 1 was a consensus report. The sample population consisted of multiethnic group or single ethnic group including Turkish, European, Asian and Hispanic subjects.

Conclusions: To date, there is not a univocal, internationally accepted pediatric definition of metabolic syndrome, which guarantees a high sensitivity and stability of the diagnosis. The definition proposed by IDF results the most straightforward and easy to use in clinical practice, having the unquestionable advantage of requiring measurements quickly accessible in clinical practice, without the adoption of multiple reference tables. Further research is needed to validate a new version of such definition which includes the diagnostic cut-off points recently suggested by published guidelines.

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Giorgia Pepe, Domenico Corica, Luisa De Sanctis, Mariacarolina Salerno, Maria Felicia Faienza, Daniele Tessaris, Gerdi Tuli, Iris Scala, Laura Penta, Angela Alibrandi, Giovanni Battista Pajno, Tommaso Aversa, Malgorzata Wasniewska, and the Thyroid Study Group of the Italian Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (ISPED)


To evaluate the prevalence and natural course of autoimmune and non-autoimmune subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) in Down syndrome (DS) children and adolescents.


Prospective multicenter study.


For the study, 101 DS patients with SH (TSH 5–10 mIU/L; FT4 12–22 pmol/L), aged 2–17 years at SH diagnosis were enrolled. Annual monitoring of TSH, FT4, BMI, height, and L-thyroxine dose was recorded for 5 years. Thyroid autoimmunity was tested at diagnosis and at the end of follow-up.


Thirty-seven out of 101 patients displayed autoantibody positivity (group A); the remaining 64 were classified as non-autoimmune SH (group B). Group A was characterized by higher median age at SH diagnosis and by more frequent family history of thyroid disease (6.6 vs 4.7 years, P = 0.001; 32.4% vs 7.8%, P = 0.001 respectively), whereas congenital heart defects were more common in group B (65.6% vs 43.2%, P = 0.028). Gender, median BMI (SDS), height (SDS), FT4, and TSH were similar in both groups. At the end of follow-up: 35.1% of group A patients developed overt hypothyroidism (OH) vs 17.2% of group B (P = 0.041); 31.25% of group B vs 10.8% of group A became biochemically euthyroid (P = 0.02); and 37.8% of group A vs 51.5% of group B still had SH condition (P = 0.183). Logistic regression suggested autoimmunity (OR = 3.2) and baseline TSH values (OR = 1.13) as predictive factors of the evolution from SH to OH.


In DS children, non-autoimmune SH showed higher prevalence and earlier onset. The risk of thyroid function deterioration over time seems to be influenced by thyroid autoimmunity and higher baseline TSH values.

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Domenico Corica, Chiara Zusi, Francesca Olivieri, Marco Marigliano, Claudia Piona, Elena Fornari, Anita Morandi, Massimiliano Corradi, Emanuele Miraglia del Giudice, Davide Gatti, Maurizio Rossini, Riccardo C Bonadonna, and Claudio Maffeis


Vitamin D may potentially play a central role in glucose homeostasis and β-cell function (BCF), although studies are not consistent. Aim of our study was to test the hypotheses of a direct relationship between vitamin D, insulin sensitivity (IS) and BCF in overweight and obese non-diabetic children.

Design and methods

Cross-sectional study carried out at the Childhood Obesity Outpatient Clinic, University Hospital of Verona. One hundred twenty-two Caucasian overweight and obese children (age: 12.8 ± 0.2 years) were enrolled. Exclusion criteria: genetic or endocrine causes of obesity, chronic diseases or therapies. Patients underwent oral glucose tolerance test. HOMA-IR, Matsuda index and insulinogenic index were calculated. BCF was reconstructed by mathematical modeling and described by Derivative and Proportional Control. Total 25-hydroxyvitamin D and vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) were measured. Two SNPs (rs4588 and rs7041) in the VDBP gene were studied, and bioavailable vitamin D (BVD) was calculated.


Hypovitaminosis D was documented in 90% of patients. Forty-seven subjects were homozygous for both SNPs. Total vitamin D was positively correlated with Matsuda index (P = 0.002), VDBP (P = 0.045), and negatively with BMI SDS (P = 0.043), HOMA-IR (P = 0.008), HOMA-B (P = 0.001), IGI (P = 0.007), derivative control (P = 0.036) and proportional control (P = 0.018). Total vitamin D, adjusted for age, gender, BMI SDS, puberty and seasonality of vitamin D measurement, was a predictor of Matsuda index, HOMA-IR, HOMA-B, IGI, proportional control (all P < 0.05). BVD was positively correlated with total vitamin D (P < 0.001) and negatively with BMI SDS (P = 0.041).


Hypovitaminosis D negatively influences BCF and IS, suggesting that vitamin D levels might be implicated in glucose metabolism impairment in overweight and obese individuals.