Metabolic syndrome in Yup'ik Eskimos: the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) Study

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Nov;15(11):2535-40. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.302.


Objective: This study investigated the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its defining components among Yup'ik Eskimos.

Research methods and procedures: A cross-sectional study design that included 710 adult Yup'ik Eskimos >or=18 years of age residing in 8 communities in Southwest Alaska. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was determined using the recently updated Adult Treatment Panel III criteria.

Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this study cohort was 14.7%, and varied by sex with 8.6% of the men and 19.8% of the women having metabolic syndrome. This is lower than the prevalence of 23.9% in the general U.S. adult population. The most common metabolic syndrome components/risk factors were increased waist circumference and elevated blood glucose. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels in Yup'ik Eskimos were significantly higher, and triglycerides lower than levels reported in National Health and Nutritional Examination III.

Discussion: Compared with other populations, metabolic syndrome is relatively uncommon in Yup'ik Eskimos. The higher prevalence among Yup'ik women is primarily explained by their large waist circumference, suggesting central body fat accumulation. Further increases in metabolic syndrome risk factors among Yup'ik Eskimos could lead to increases in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, once rare in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Inuits / ethnology*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Triglycerides