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. 2018 Oct 11;4:36.
doi: 10.1186/s40795-018-0243-x. eCollection 2018.

The Relationship Between Hypovitaminosis D and Metabolic Syndrome: A Cross Sectional Study Among Employees of a Private University in Lebanon

Free PMC article

The Relationship Between Hypovitaminosis D and Metabolic Syndrome: A Cross Sectional Study Among Employees of a Private University in Lebanon

Rachelle Ghadieh et al. BMC Nutr. .
Free PMC article


Background: The prevalence of low vitamin D status and metabolic syndrome is increasing globally and in Lebanon. The objectives of this study are to assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components (elevated triglycerides, low HDL, abdominal obesity defined by high waist circumference, hypertension, impaired fasting blood glucose) and investigate the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and MetS and its components among a sample of Lebanese adults.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on Notre Dame University employees. A background questionnaire, a short-form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and a food frequency questionnaire were administered. Participants were invited to the nutrition laboratory to gather data on anthropometric (height, waist circumference, weight, body composition and body mass index) and biochemical measurements (serum vitamin D, triglycerides, HDL and fasting blood glucose). Vitamin D status was assessed according to the Institute of Medicine cut-offs (inadequate or adequate: 25(OH)D < or ≥ 50 nmol/L).The definition of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program was used to identify individuals who had MetS. The data were analyzed using the SPSS version 22. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 344 participants (age range of 20 to 74 years) were included in the study. The prevalence of MetS was 23.5%. Among MetS components, central obesity was the most prevalent condition (50.6%), while the least prevalent was impaired fasting blood glucose (20.3%). The odds of having MetS were found to be 2.5 (95% CI 1.3-4.7) higher among those with inadequate vitamin D status, than among those with adequate vitamin D status while controlling for important confounders (age, marital status, education level, income, medical morbidity, smoking and percent body fat and gender). Among the components of MetS, only hypertriglyceridemia (OR: 2.4, 95%CI: 1.3-4.2) and low HDL (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.0-3.0) were associated with inadequate vitamin D status while controlling for important confounders.

Conclusions: Early identification and control of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in the primary care level is needed, particularly among adults who have low vitamin D status, are obese, and have low income level.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Fasting blood glucose; Metabolic syndrome; Triglycerides; Vitamin D; Waist circumference.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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