Metabolic syndrome according to different definitions in a rapidly developing country of the African region

Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2008 Sep 18:7:27. doi: 10.1186/1475-2840-7-27.


Aims: We examined, in a country of the African region, i) the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) according to three definitions (ATP, WHO and IDF); ii) the distribution of the MetS criteria; iii) the level of agreement between these three definitions and iv) we also examined these issues upon exclusion of people with diabetes.

Methods: We conducted an examination survey on a sample representative of the general population aged 25-64 years in the Seychelles (Indian Ocean, African region), attended by 1255 participants (participation rate of 80.3%).

Results: The prevalence of MetS increased markedly with age. According to the ATP, WHO and IDF definitions, the prevalence of MetS was, respectively, 24.0%, 25.0%, 25.1% in men and 32.2%, 24.6%, 35.4% in women. Approximately 80% of participants with diabetes also had MetS and the prevalence of MetS was approximately 7% lower upon exclusion of diabetic individuals. High blood pressure and adiposity were the criteria found most frequently among MetS holders irrespective of the MetS definitions. Among people with MetS based on any of the three definitions, 78% met both ATP and IDF criteria, 67% both WHO and IDF criteria, 54% both WHO and ATP criteria and only 37% met all three definitions.

Conclusion: We identified a high prevalence of MetS in this population in epidemiological transition. The prevalence of MetS decreased by approximately 32% upon exclusion of persons with diabetes. Because of limited agreement between the MetS definitions, the fairly similar proportions of MetS based on any of the three MetS definitions classified, to a substantial extent, different subjects as having MetS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Developing Countries* / statistics & numerical data
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / classification
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Seychelles / epidemiology
  • Terminology as Topic*