Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its associated factors among Iranian steel workers

Work. 2021;68(1):181-188. doi: 10.3233/WOR-203367.


Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is composed of a collection of risk factors for heart diseases and diabetes. In recent decades, metabolic syndrome has been identified as one of the important risk factors leading to the development of work-related diseases.

Objective: Since few studies have been conducted on evaluating the prevalence of MetS among Iranian workers, this cross-sectional study aimed at assessing the prevalence of MetS and the factors affecting it among Iranian steel workers.

Methods: This study was carried out on 510 employees working in a large steel producing company. The data pertaining to blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, and demographic information were collected and the Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) criteria were implemented to diagnose MetS.

Results: The prevalence of Mets was obtained equal to 13% and a significant positive relationship was observed between age and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. From among MetS elements, low HDL cholesterol and increased waist circumference were recognized as the most and the least frequently involved elements with 39.3% and 6.5% prevalence, respectively. Chi-square test was run and the results showed that the prevalence of MetS and some of its components rose at higher BMI values. It was also indicated that MetS and its components had no significant relationship with shift work.

Conclusion: The current findings revealed that the prevalence of MetS increased with aging. Low HDL and high triglycerides levels were among the main risk factors for MetS. Therefore, considering these risk factors, it should be attempted to develop relevant strategies at workplace to encourage workers to go for a healthier lifestyle so that they can prevent the incidence of MetS.

Keywords: Shift work; cardiovascular diseases; steel workers; work-related diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Metal Workers
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors