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Diabetes Care. 2004 Oct;27(10):2438-43.

Prevalence and trends of a metabolic syndrome phenotype among u.s. Adolescents, 1999-2000.

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  • 1Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, Department of Epidemiology, 305 Raitt Hall, Box 353410, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.



To determine the prevalence of a metabolic syndrome phenotype among U.S. adolescents using the most recent national data and to examine trends in metabolic syndrome prevalence.


Analysis of data on 991 adolescents (aged 12-19 years) who had fasted for at least 6 h, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2000). The metabolic syndrome was determined using the National Cholesterol Education Program (Adult Treatment Panel III) definition modified for age.


The overall prevalence of a metabolic syndrome phenotype among U.S. adolescents increased from 4.2% in NHANES III (1988-1992) to 6.4% in NHANES 1999-2000 (P < 0.001). The syndrome was more prevalent (P < 0.01) in male than female adolescents (9.1 vs. 3.7%) and was found in 32.1% of overweight adolescents (BMI > or = 95th percentile for age and sex), compared with 7.1% of adolescents at risk for overweight (BMI between 85th and 95th percentiles) (P < 0.001). Based on population-weighted estimates, > 2 million U.S. adolescents currently have a metabolic syndrome phenotype.


The prevalence of a metabolic syndrome phenotype has increased significantly over the past decade among U.S. adolescents and is particularly prevalent (> 30%) in overweight adolescents. These findings have important implications for public health because of the well-known health risks associated with the metabolic syndrome in adults.

Copyright 2004 American Diabetes Association

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