Metabolic Screening Low Among Obese Children

Pharmacy Times, August 2014 Pain Awareness, Volume 80, Issue 8

According to a recent report, many overweight and obese children and teens are not being screened for metabolic conditions, despite recommendations to do so.

As the prevalence of obesity among children was increasing, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued recommendations in 2007 that suggested universal screening for metabolic disorders among children and adolescents with a body mass index at or above the 85th percentile for their age. The current study, published in the April 11, 2014, Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, assessed whether these screening guidelines were being followed and determined the overall prevalence of obesity among children enrolled in Maryland Medicaid or Maryland’s Children’s Health Program.

The results indicated that 16.5% of children and teens were overweight and 21.4% were obese. Obesity prevalence was highest among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years (25.6%) and among Hispanic children (28.1%). Although the results indicated that obese children were more likely to be diagnosed with other conditions, including asthma, dyslipidemia, and depression, few received the recommended metabolic disorder screenings. Only 29.9% of overweight and 40.2% of obese children received a lipid panel test, 10.3% of obese children underwent a fasting glucose test, and family history of overweight and related complications was assessed for just 1.5% of obese patients.