Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in overweight and obese women according to the different diagnostic criteria

Minerva Endocrinol. 2012 Sep;37(3):247-54.


Aim: Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of risk factors favoring the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The prevalence of MS diagnosis is dependent of used diagnostic criteria. The aim of the study is to compare the prevalence of MS in overweight and obese women without concomitant diseases according to the different diagnostic criteria and their sensitivity to identify subjects with insulin resistance.

Methods: The study involved 126 overweight and obese women without concomitant diseases. In all subjects body mass, height, waist circumference and blood pressure were measured and plasma glucose, insulin and lipids levels were determined. MS was diagnosed using WHO, NCEP ATP III, IDF 2005 and IDF 2009 modified criteria. The insulin resistance was assessed based on the homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR≥2.5).

Results: The prevalence of MS was 43.8%, 43.8%, 38.1% and 18.1% according to IDF 2005, IDF 2009 modified, NCEP ATP III and WHO criteria, respectively. Insulin resistance was diagnosed in 89 women (70.6%). None of MS definitions allowed for proper discrimination of insulin resistant subjects. The highest sensitivity, but lowest specificity of insulin resistant discrimination had both IDF criteria (44.9% and 72.9%, respectively), while the highest specificity WHO criteria was missing sensitivity (91.8% and 17.9%, respectively).

Conclusion: On the basis of both IDF criteria MS is diagnosed in significantly larger subset of overweight and obese women. However, NCEP ATPIII and both IDF criteria identify only less than half insulin resistant overweight and obese women as those with MS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance* / genetics
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / diagnosis*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Waist Circumference


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipids