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Diabetes Care. 2004 Oct;27(10):2444-9.

Increasing prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among u.s. Adults.

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  • 1Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is high among U.S. adults. Our purpose was to determine whether the prevalence of this syndrome has changed since 1988-1994.


A total of 6,436 men and women aged > or = 20 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III (1988-1994) and 1,677 participants from NHANES 1999-2000 were included in the analyses. We used the definition of the metabolic syndrome developed by the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults.


The unadjusted prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 23.1% in NHANES III and 26.7% in NHANES 1999-2000 (P = 0.043), and the age-adjusted prevalences were 24.1 and 27.0% (P = 0.088), respectively. The age-adjusted prevalence increased by 23.5% among women (P = 0.021) and 2.2% among men (P = 0.831). Increases in high blood pressure, waist circumference, and hypertriglyceridemia accounted for much of the increase in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, particularly among women.


The increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is likely to lead to future increases in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Copyright 2004 American Diabetes Association

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