Prevalence and gender distribution of the metabolic syndrome

Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2010 Jan 12:2:1. doi: 10.1186/1758-5996-2-1.


Background: The Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cardiovascular risk factor of public health significance and of recent has become a topical issue. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is on the increase and with this scenario, a possible increase in burden of DM which may be largely attributed to cardiovascular complications is expected. The objective of this report is to determine the prevalence of the MetS and compare gender characteristics in subjects with type 2 DM.

Methods: Subjects with type 2 DM were recruited from an urban hospital for the study. Clinical data was obtained by interviewing the patients and referring to their case folders. The anthropometric indices and blood pressure measurements were documented. Laboratory parameters analysed for included total cholesterol, high density and low density cholesterol, triglyceride and glycosylated haemoglobin. Statistical analysis included usage of Student's t test and chi square.

Results: 963 patients with type 2 DM aged between 35-85 years were recruited for the study. The main outcome measures included the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and the gender differences of its components. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 86%. The frequency of occurrence of the MetS was similar for men (83%) and women (86%) and increased with age in both sexes. The prevalence of MetS increased from 11% among participants aged 20 through 29 years to 89% in participants aged 70 through 79. In our patients with DM, the commonest occurring and least detected MetS defining parameters are central obesity and elevated triglyceride levels respectively. The components of the MetS that differed significantly in both sexes was HDL-C. The combination of the components of the MetS were comparable in both genders and 5.8% of the subjects with the MetS had all components of the MetS.

Conclusion: The prevalence of the MetS in type 2DM is high in both genders and increases with age thus posing a potential high cardiovascular risk in this group of patients. The modifiable risk factors for the MetS should be a focus point in the management of subjects with type 2 DM.