Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adult population in India: A systematic review and meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2020 Oct 19;15(10):e0240971. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240971. eCollection 2020.


Objective: This review was done to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) among adult general population in India. We also wanted to find the gender, setting, and region-wide distribution of MS in India.

Methods: We conducted systematic searches in various databases including Medline, ScienceDirect, Cochrane library and Google Scholar from inception until August 2019. We included studies conducted in India reporting the prevalence of MS among adults aged 18 years or more. We used the Newcastle Ottawa scale to assess the quality of included studies. We carried out a meta-analysis with random-effects model and reported pooled prevalence with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We used the Funnel plot to assess publication biases.

Results: In total, we analysed 113 data from 111 studies with 133,926 participants. Majority of the included studies (76 out of 111) had low risk of bias. We found significant heterogeneity among the included studies (p<0.001). We also found a symmetrical funnel plot indicating an absence of publication bias. The prevalence of MS among adult population in India was 30% (95%CI: 28%-33%). There was a steady increase in the burden across the age groups from 13% (18-29 years group) to 50% (50-59 years). We also found that people living in urban areas (32%; 95%CI: 29%-36%) had higher prevalence when compared to tribal (28%; 95%CI: 21%-36%) or rural adults (22%; 95%CI: 20%-25%). Gender distribution of MS showed that the females had higher prevalence (35%; 95%CI: 31%-38%) when compared to males 26% (95%CI: 22%-29%).

Conclusion: Almost one in three adults in India suffer from MS. Females, people living in urban areas and in northeast region had higher prevalence of MS. Development and implementation of policies and protocols for the screening of MS would enable us in early diagnosis and treatment with special focus towards the vulnerable and high-risk groups.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.