Disparities in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome between Iranian industrial workers and university staff

J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2023 Jan 11;22(1):443-453. doi: 10.1007/s40200-022-01162-5. eCollection 2023 Jun.

Abstract

Background: Is there a difference in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome between employee service jobs and industrial jobs in Iran? In this study, we tried to answer this question. For this purpose, we compared the two populations of employees and workers. We compared the staff of the University of Medical Sciences as a service employees population (clinical and office work) to the industrial workers of a large automotive company (often with industrial occupations).

Method: In this cross-sectional study conducted in Tehran in 2020, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among 4,372 people employed by the university and 3,899 automotive industry employees was examined and compared. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was assessed based on two criteria, National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

Results: The results showed that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among university staff was higher than the automotive industrial workers. According to ATP III criteria, the former and latter showed the prevalence of metabolic syndrome of 13.1% among and 6.1%, respectively among. Also, based on IDF criteria, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 23.3% and 12.6% in two groups mentioned.

Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in university staff was almost double that in industry workers. At first glance, the physical activity of most automotive, industrial workers seems to be the main reason for this difference; however, a prevalence of about twice implies further factors. According to the authors, the legal implementation of monitoring, promotion, and surveillance programs of occupational health, in industrial environments can be a factor accounting for a significant difference in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome between the two populations observed. The authors suggest implementing similar programs for Iranian public sector employees to enhance their health status.

Keywords: Metabolic syndrome x; Occupational groups; Occupational health; Prevalence; Sedentary lifestyle.