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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2005 Aug;15(4):250-4.

Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among Italian adults according to ATP III definition.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.



To evaluate the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome as defined by NCEP ATP III criteria in an Italian cohort of adult subjects.


A total of 2100 subjects aged 19 years or more, were randomly selected from the general population of the Lucca area. Metabolic syndrome was defined by the clustering of three or more of the following abnormalities: waist circumference greater than 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women; serum triglycerides level of at least 150 mg/dl (1.69 mmol/l); high-density lipoprotein cholesterol less than 40 mg/dl (1.04 mmol/l) in men and 50 mg/dl (1.29 mmol/l) in women; blood pressure greater than 130/85 mmHg; or serum glucose greater than 110 mg/dl (6.1 mmol/l). The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 18% in women and 15% in men. The prevalence increased from 3% among subjects aged 20-29 years to 25% in subjects aged 70 years or older. Application of this estimated prevalence data to the Italian adult population suggests that 3.6 million women and 3 million men may have the metabolic syndrome.


The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a cohort likely representative of the Italian adult population is high. The recognition of the syndrome may represent an important challenge for physicians and healthcare and requires immediate strategies aimed to reduce level of individual metabolic traits.

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