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Ann Epidemiol. 2005 Mar;15(3):202-6.

Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in relation to self-reported cancer history.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.



To estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in persons with a history of cancer from a population-based sample of adults, and compare that prevalence to persons without a history of cancer.


Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed to compare prevalence and prevalence differences of the metabolic syndrome, as defined by Adult Treatment Panel III criteria, between 486 persons with a reported history of cancer and 12,526 persons with no reported history of cancer.


The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 258/1000 persons for those with a cancer history and 184/1000 persons among those without, resulting in a prevalence difference of 74/1000 persons (95% CI, 38-110). Prevalence differences varied substantially by age at interview. The prevalence difference was highest among those aged 40 to 49 years (112/1000 persons) and 50 to 59 years (73/1000 persons), while those in younger (18-39 years) and older (: 60 years) age groups had a moderately higher prevalence among those without a cancer history.


These results add to the emerging concern that metabolic syndrome and associated risks for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes may be an adverse late effect of cancer and/or its treatment.

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