INTRODUCTION: Premature pubarche (PP) is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome (MS). The aim was to evaluate if glucose-insulin metabolism, cardiovascular risk factors, familial cardiovascular risk factors (FCVRF) created a risk for insulin resistance (IR) and if PP was a risk factor alone for MS in normal weight prepubertal girls with PP.
METHODS: Thirty-five prepubertal, non-obese girls with PP with normal birth weight and 35 age-matched control girls were evaluated for FCVRF, anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, lipid profile, fasting blood glucose-insulin, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), leptin, adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), androgen levels, and bone age. Oral glucose tolerance test was performed in PP participants. Homeostasis model of assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), fasting glucose/insulin ratio, atherogenic index (AI), and free androgen index (FAI) were calculated. PP participants were further stratified by FCVRF.
RESULTS: HbA1c, lipid profile, testosterone, leptin, adiponectin, TNF-α, HOMA-IR, glucose/insulin ratio, AI, and fasting glucose-insulin levels were similar. In the PP group FAI was significantly higher (p=0.001), whereas SHBG was significantly lower (p=0.010) than the control group. Leptin levels of FCVRF+ and FCVRF- subgroups were 15.2±9.1 and 9.7±7.2 ng/mL, respectively and the difference was significant (p=0.016).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: As PP does not appear to be a risk factor alone for impaired glucose metabolism and IR in prepubertal non-obese girls with normal birth weight, it is our opinion that it is unnecessary to examine in detail such cases before puberty. Low SHBG levels in the PP group and high leptin levels in FCVRF+ subgroup might suggest that these may be predictive for MS in the future.