Potential confounding factors between certain population characteristics, such as age, gender, obesity and co-morbidity, and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome are considered above. Some prevalence studies have not considered potential confounding factors, and even among those that have considered these factors there remains the potential for residual confounding. A large proportion of the difference in prevalence of the metabolic syndrome between populations may be explicable by factors that are either confounders or on the causal pathway, such as age and obesity. A proportion of the higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among people with diabetes may be explained by the higher average age of people with diabetes than of the general population.

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