Objective: Insulin resistance (IR) and associated metabolic abnormalities are increasingly being reported in the adolescent population. Cut-off value of homeostasis model of assessment IR (HOMA-IR) as an indicator of metabolic syndrome (MS) in adolescents has not been established. This study aimed to investigate IR by HOMA-IR in urban Indian adolescents and to establish cut-off values of HOMA-IR for defining MS.
Methods: A total of 691 apparently healthy adolescents (295 with normal body mass index (BMI), 205 overweight, and 199 obese) were included in this cross-sectional study. MS in adolescents was defined by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) criteria. IR was calculated using the HOMA model.
Results: Mean height, waist circumference (WC), waist/hip ratio (WHR), waist/height ratio (WHtR), and blood pressure were significantly higher in boys as compared to girls. The HOMA-IR values increased progressively from normal weight to obese adolescents in both sexes. Mean HOMA-IR values increased progressively according to sexual maturity rating in both sexes. HOMA-IR value of 2.5 had a sensitivity of >70% and specificity of >60% for MS. This cut-off identified larger number of adolescents with MS in different BMI categories (19.7% in normal weight, 51.7% in overweight, and 77.0% in obese subjects) as compared to the use of IDF or ATP III criteria for diagnosing MS. Odds ratio for having IR (HOMA-IR of >2.5) was highest with WHtR (4.9, p <0.0001) and WC (4.8, p <0.0001), compared to WHR (3.3, p <0.0001).
Conclusions: In Indian adolescents, HOMA-IR increased with sexual maturity and with progression from normal to obese. A HOMA-IR cut-off of 2.5 provided the maximum sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing MS in both genders as per ATP III and IDF criteria.