BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The prevalence of childhood obesity has risen considerably on a global scale during the past decades, and the condition is associated with increased risk of morbidity. The objective is to describe the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Childhood Obesity (ULSCO) cohort, including some baseline data, and outline addressed research areas that aim at identifying factors implicated in and contributing to development of obesity and obesity-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
METHODS: Severely obese and lean control subjects are examined at enrollment and at subsequent annual visits by using detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements, indirect calorimetry, and functional tests such as oral glucose tolerance tests. Some subjects undergo additional characterization with MRI, subcutaneous fat biopsies, frequent blood sampling, and hyperglycemic clamps. Biological samples are obtained and stored in a biobank.
RESULTS: Active recruitment started in 2010, and standard operating procedures have been established. A high participation rate and annual follow-ups have resulted in a cohort exceeding 200 subjects, including 45 lean controls (as of October 2013). Initial research focus has been on traits of the metabolic syndrome, hyperinsulinemia and identifying risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: The ULSCO cohort serves as an important resource in defining and understanding factors contributing to childhood obesity and development of obesity-related diseases. Given the comprehensive characterization of the cohort, factors contributing to disease development and progression can be identified. Such factors are further evaluated for their mechanistic role and significance, and noncommunicable metabolic diseases are especially addressed and considered.
- OGTT —
- oral glucose tolerance test
- MRI —
- magnetic resonance imaging
- T2DM —
- type 2 diabetes mellitus
- ULSCO —
- Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Childhood Obesity
- WHO —
- World Health Organization
- Accepted November 18, 2013.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics