Background: The metabolic syndrome (MS) is characterized by several cardiovascular risk factors and is associated with an increased incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular events and mortality. The prevalence of MS is increasing in epidemic proportions worldwide. The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of MS and its components in health professionals in the municipality of Viçosa, Brazil.
Methods: Cross-sectional observational study in the frame of the LATIN America METabolic Syndrome (LATINMETS) multicenter study. The study sample consisted of 226 healthcare personnel (20-59 years). Weight, height, waist circumference and hip circumference were determined. The following anthropometric indices were calculated: body mass index (BMI), waist/hip ratio, waist/height ratio, body adiposity index (BAI) and conicity index. Body composition was assessed by tetrapolar bioelectrical impedance. The lipid profile, fasting glucose, insulin, uric acid, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and complement C3 were measured in fasting conditions. Insulin resistance was assessed by the Homeostasis Model Assessment Index of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR).
Results: Of the 226 healthcare individuals included in the study, 74.3% were female, 77.0% graduated and 23.0% students of the last two years of courses in health area, with a median age of 27 years. The overall prevalence of MS was 4.5%, and increased with age (20 to 29 years: 1.3%; 30 to 39 years: 5.6%; ≥ 40 years: 26.3%) (P < 0.01). The presence of pre-MS and MS was associated with several measures of adiposity, total cholesterol/HDL-c and LDL-c/HDL-c ratios and serum complement C3 concentrations.
Conclusions: The LATINMETS Brazil study reported an association between MS prevalence and age, especially in those over 40 years. The presence of MS is associated with an increased prevalence of several cardiovascular risk factors.
Keywords: Health personnel; Metabolic syndrome; Prevalence.