Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of four major obesity-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Russia has one of the highest CVD mortality in the world, but its association with MetS remains unknown. Also little is known about factors associated with MetS and its components in Russia.
Methods: Data on 3555 adults aged 18-90 years were collected in a cross-sectional study in 2000. MetS was defined by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) criteria. Sex-specific associations between the IDF-defined MetS, its components, and life-style, socio-economic factors and laboratory indicators, were analysed using multivariable Poisson regression. Vital status of the study participants was identified by July 2009. Sex-specific associations between MetS and stroke, Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), CVD and all-cause death, were studied by Poisson regression adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol and history of CVDs.
Results: After adjustment for all studied factors except BMI, age, serum GGT, C-reactive protein and AST-to-ALT ratio were associated with MetS in both genders. Additionally, MetS was associated with sedentary lifestyle in women and with smoking in men. In the same regression model drinking alcohol 2-4 times a month and consumption of five or more alcohol units at one occasion in men, and drinking alcohol 5 times or more a month in women were inversely associated with MetS. After a 9-year follow-up, MetS was associated with higher risk of death from stroke (RR = 3.76, 95% CI:1.35-10.46) and from either stroke or myocardial infarction (MI, RR = 2.87, 95% CI:1.32-6.23) in men. No associations between MetS and any of the studied causes of death were observed in women.
Conclusion: Factors associated with MetS in both genders were age, GGT, C-reactive protein, and AST-to-ALT ratio. Moderate frequency of alcohol consumption and binge drinking in men and higher leisure time physical activity in women, were inversely associated with MetS.Positive associations between MetS and mortality were only observed for deaths from stroke and either stroke or MI in men.