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.