Clinical Research


Do bariatric surgery patients have obese children/grandchildren? (Bao, Desai, Christoffel, Smith-Ray, Nagle; supported by funding from the Society for Pediatric Research student research program). This study was designed to 1) describe the prevalence of obese preteen children in families of adult bariatric surgery patients; and 2) understand the implications of this information for future clinical care and research.

Adult bariatric surgery patients were enrolled in the primary study titled “Long-term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery Patients” were recruited over the phone and in the bariatric surgery follow-up clinic. Patient information (e.g., BMI at surgery) was obtained from the parent study database. Each enrolled patient was presented with a survey that included their children/grandchildren’s weight and height. Child obesity was defined as BMI percentile ≥95th percentile. Analyses identified associations between patient/child /grandchild characteristics
and child/grandchild obesity, and explored discrepancies between reported and perceived child overweight.

Metabolic Syndrome in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Precursors and Interventions (Brickman with PI Dunaif at FSM, funded by NIH): The overarching hypothesis of this proposal is that 1) hyper-androgenemia plays an independent role in the pathogenesis of the metabolic abnormalities in PCOS, 2) hyperandrogenemia results from A8 PCOS susceptibility variant and 3) hyperandrogenemia begins early in life producing metabolic abnormalities prior to puberty. First degree relatives will be studied to determine whether there is a premenarchal phenotype and whether A8 identifies at risk girls. We will determine whether the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide, the insulin sensitizing agent metformin or a combination of these medications reduces visceral adiposity, improves insulin sensitivity, or ameliorates dyslipidemia in women with PCOS. Further, we will determine whether A8 genotype predicts response to these interventions.

Characteristics of 1906 overweight children seen at pediatric specialty clinics over one year (Christoffel, funded by internal funds): To obtain an overview of the characteristics of overweight children seen at our hospital, data were collected in 8 clinics that treat overweight and/or its co-morbidities. The data describe these patients, and demonstrate variability in overweight severity and in workup across clinics.

Testing the reliability of a survey on the use of over-the-counter products for weight loss by overweight and obese Chicago children (Christoffel, funded by the American Pediatric Society and Society for Pediatric Research student training program). This study investigates the reliability of a new tool to assess the medicine that families of overweight children take.

Delineation of phenotypes and genetic markers in young overweight children using a family based association study (Christoffel, Wang, and Binns, funded by internal funds and the FSM GCRC): Study aims are: To conduct a pilot study (1) to define clinical features and age at adiposity rebound (i.e., first postnatal BMI nadir, based on growth records) among pre-pubertal very overweight children (>97th percentile BMI); (2) to examine environmental and genetic features associated with the children’s severe obesity and time of adiposity rebound.

Practice-Based Research Group (PPRG) - www.childrensmrc/pprg/

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