Conclusions

The metabolic syndrome appears to affect between 10 and 25 per cent of adult populations worldwide. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is likely to increase with increasing prevalence of obesity and will contribute to the epidemic of diabetes that has been described (Wild etal., 2004). The increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with the metabolic syndrome and diabetes could mean that the secular declines in cardiovascular disease mortality in developed countries may slow or...

Composite definitions of the metabolic syndrome

More than a decade after the concept of the insulin resistance syndrome, which generated much research into its individual components, two composite definitions were proposed to enable a single variable 'the metabolic syndrome' to be used in epidemiological studies, with the potential of use as a clinical utility. The first attempt to define a composite metabolic syndrome came in 1999 from the World Health Organization (WHO, 1999), and in 2001 the Adult Treatment Panel (ATP-III) of the National...

Obesity and body fat distribution

A multitude of studies have shown that excess fat in the abdominal region (visceral adipose tissue) is strongly associated with metabolic alterations such as disturbed plasma lipoprotein profile, hyperinsulinaemia, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. In comparative analyses, people of Black ancestry have the highest levels of generalized obesity (BMI > 30kgm-2) and Mexican-Americans have the highest percentage body fat, but the highest levels of central obesity (as measured by waist...

Consequences of the metabolic syndrome

The metabolic syndrome is associated with increased risk of a variety of disease outcomes, including diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (the association with cardiovascular disease is discussed in Chapter 10), fatty liver and non-alcoholic steatohepatosis (discussed in Chapter 11), polycystic ovary syndrome (discussed in Chapter 12), gallstones, asthma, sleep apnoea and selected malignant diseases. Studies that have described the association between the metabolic syndrome and diabetes and...

Nita G Forouhi

Convincing evidence has emerged in the last decade that there are important ethnic differences in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. Estimates vary by country but generally show higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in non-European groups such as South Asians, Black African-Caribbeans, Hispanics and Aboriginals, with significantly lower prevalence in European Whites and the Chinese. Recent national estimates indicate a background prevalence of around 20 per cent in the USA, with...

Gender

As central obesity is one of the factors included in the definition of the metabolic syndrome and, for a given BMI, central obesity is more common in men, it might be expected that prevalence of the metabolic syndrome would be higher in men than in women. Among non-diabetic European men and women from eight populations the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (defined using modified WHO criteria) was generally higher in men than in women (Hu etal., 2004). The effect of generalized obesity is...