Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and determinants of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among adults in a rural area of Northwest China.
Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2010 among adults aged 18 to 80 years in rural areas of Hanzhong, in Northwest China. Interview, physical and clinical examinations, and fasting blood glucose and lipid measurements were completed for 2990 adults. The definitions of MetS proposed by the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel (Adults Treatment Panel III, ATP III) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the modified ATP III definition for Asian population were used and compared. Proportions were adjusted for age and sex.
Results: The prevalence of MetS was 7.9%, 10.8% and 15.1% according to ATP III, IDF and modified ATP III criteria, respectively. Agreement between ATP III and IDF criteria and that between ATP III and modified ATP III criteria were moderate (Kappa = 0.52 and 0.64, respectively), whereas agreement between IDF and modified ATP III criteria was good (Kappa = 0.83). The prevalence of MetS increased with age, and was higher in women than in men (10.4% versus 5.4%, 13.6% versus 8.1% and 17.4% versus 12.8%, according to ATP III, IDF and modified ATP III criteria, respectively). The most common MetS component was high blood pressure. Having family history of hypertension, lack of physical activity, high economical level, overweight and obesity were positively associated with MetS.
Conclusions: MetS is prevalent among rural adults in Northwest China and high blood pressure is the most common MetS component. Prevention and treatment of hypertension and MetS should be a public health priority to reduce cardiovascular diseases in rural areas of Northwest China. More attention should be given to the elderly, women, people with family history of hypertension and obese people who are at high risk of MetS.