Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of individual risk factors for metabolic syndrome as well as the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2006.
Methods: The analytic sample consisted of 3,423 adults, 20 years of age and over, from NHANES 2003-2006. The National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP/ATP III) guidelines were used to identify adults who met their criteria for metabolic syndrome. Prevalence estimates were calculated for each risk factor for metabolic syndrome in addition to the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Prevalence estimates and odds ratios were analyzed by sex and by age group, race and ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI) stratified by sex.
Results: Approximately 34% of adults met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. Males and females 40-59 years of age were about three times as likely as those 20-39 years of age to meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome. Males 60 years of age and over were more than four times as likely and females 60 years of age and over were more than six times as likely as the youngest age group to meet the criteria. Non-Hispanic black males were about one-half as likely as non-Hispanic white males to meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, while non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American females were about 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic white females to meet the criteria. Overweight males were about six times as likely and obese males were about 32 times as likely as normal weight males to meet the criteria. Overweight females were more than five times as likely and obese females were more than 17 times as likely as normal weight females to meet the criteria.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that metabolic syndrome is prevalent and that it increases with age and with BMI. The prevalence varied by race and ethnicity but the pattern was different for males and females.