Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Girls with Turner Syndrome

Two girls looking on a laptop computer in the parkSince Turner Syndrome (TS) has been found to raise a person’s lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, a team of researchers in Canada set out to explore the extent of cardiometabolic risk factors experienced by children and adolescents with TS.

Their study, “An evaluation of early cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents with Turner Syndrome,” was conducted by researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto. It was published online ahead of print in October 2012 in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.

The researchers conducted the study at their home research site in Toronto. They examined data on 19 girls with TS and 17 girls without the condition. The girls in the control group were matched with those in the TS group based on age and BMI-standard deviation scores.

The researchers conducted oral glucose tolerance tests on the participants and measured a number of indicators, including the patients’ fasting insulin, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and adiponectin levels.

The study results showed that 5 of the girls in the TS group had impaired fasting glucose results or impaired glucose tolerance, compared to none of the girls in the control group. None of the participants had type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The girls with TS also had higher blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, subcutaneous adipose tissue, hsCRP, and waist circumferences than the girls in the control group. However, insulin sensitivity and secretion were not significantly different between the 2 groups.

The researchers conclude that their study demonstrates that young girls with Turner Syndrome show more cardiometabolic risk factors than girls who do not have the condition. They argue that more awareness is needed to help address the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension in young girls with TS.

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