Metabolic syndrome prevalence in a multicultural population in Auckland, New Zealand

N Z Med J. 2007 Jan 26;120(1248):U2399.


Objective: To estimate ethnic-specific metabolic syndrome prevalence in the Auckland region and to identify the main reasons for the differences.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of adults aged between 35-74 years within the Auckland area using a dual sampling frame with both cluster sampling and random selection from electoral rolls. Participants included 1006 Maori, 996 Pacific people, and 2020 of other ethnicity (mainly Europeans).

Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (using the 2001 ATPIII definition, age and gender adjusted) were: Maori 32%, Pacific people 39%, and Others 16%. Maori were twice as likely as others (OR=2.01, 95% CI: 1.53 to 2.64) to have the metabolic syndrome while Pacific people were two and a half times as likely (OR=2.54, 95% CI: 1.93 to 3.35), after adjusting for multiple CVD risk factors other than the components of the syndrome. Adjusting these ethnic differences in prevalences for each of the components of the syndrome separately indicated that most of the differences could be accounted for by differences in obesity. In addition, more than a third of people with diabetes did not have the metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: The prevalences of metabolic syndrome were significantly higher in Pacific people and Maori compared to Others and measures of obesity accounted for most of the ethnic differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Prevalence