Association between Metabolic Syndrome Components and Cardiac Autonomic Modulation among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Rashmi Supriya*, Fei Fei Li, Yi De Yang, Wei Liang, Julien S. Baker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The clustering of metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors is becoming more prevalent in young people (up to the age of 19 years) leading to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular diseases in early adulthood. The impact of MetS risk factors on cardiac autonomic modulation (CAM) or vice versa have been noted to track from childhood to pre-adolescence and adolescence. Understating associations in this age group may help improve the clinical outcomes of the MetS, even when MetS symptoms are not visible. Potential damage from each individual MetS component and the ability to predict early cardiac damage or upcoming cardiovascular events is very important. Therefore, the present systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the associations between CAM and MetS risk factors individually to verify which MetS risk components were significantly correlated with which heart rate variability (HRV) indices before or at the onset of the MetS among young people. The purpose of this review was to outline the importance of potentially screening HRV indices in young people even with only one MetS risk factor, as a pre-indicator for early cardiovascular risk stratification. Cross-sectional studies that examined the relationship of MetS risk factors with HRV indices were searched using four databases including PubMed, the Cochrane clinical trials library, Medline and the Web of Science. Correlation coefficients with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), and random effects meta-analyses of the association between MetS risk factors with HRV indices were performed. Our results propose that lipid profiles including high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides (TGs), waist circumference (WC) and blood pressure (BP) are associated with CAM in young people up to the age of 19 years. The use of HRV indices to predict future MetS risk, and relationships with individual risk factors including HDL, BP, WC and TGs, were established. Furthermore, arterial pressure, respiration, stress and physical activity must be taken into consideration for future studies along with CAM related to young people (up to the age of 19 years), and it is recommended to explore further the associations reported here, as CAM is not the only determinant of neurovisceral regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number699
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • metabolic syndrome
  • cardiac autonomic modulation
  • heart rate variability
  • children
  • adolescents
  • pre-pubertal adolescents
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review


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