Background: Although cardiovascular health is a crucial problem for Mongolian people, little information about metabolic syndrome, which is well known to be associated with the development of cardiovascular disease, is available in Mongolia. The aim of this study was to observe the epidemiological features of metabolic syndrome in a general Mongolian population.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed in 1911 general Mongolian subjects (717 men, 1194 women), who were ≥40 years old and free of ischemic heart disease, by using a dataset from a nationwide population-based cohort study in Mongolia. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome, as defined by International Diabetes Federation criteria, was determined. Alcohol consumption, smoking habits, and physical activity were evaluated. Education, marital status, income, and occupation were also examined as factors of socioeconomic status (SES). Their association with metabolic syndrome was determined by logistic regression models.
Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was significantly higher in women (n=488, 40.6%) than in men (n=138, 19.4%). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was high, especially in the Khangai region, in women. Moderate-to-high alcohol consumption was a significantly positively associated factor of metabolic syndrome in men [odds ratio (OR)=2.01; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15-3.51; adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=2.41; 95% CI 1.31-4.44] and widowed status was a significantly positively associated factor of metabolic syndrome in women (OR=1.61, 95% CI 1.18-2.18; AOR=1.49, 95% CI 1.07-2.08).
Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome was prevalent in women compared with men among Mongolian adults. Preventive strategies aimed at men with a higher alcohol consumption and women with widowed status may help reduce metabolic syndrome, thereby improving cardiovascular health conditions in Mongolia.