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Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2012 May 14;4(1):20.

Metabolic syndrome in central Brazil: prevalence and correlates in the adult population.

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  • 1Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade de Brasília, Campus Darcy Ribeiro, Brasília, DF, 70910-900, Brazil.



The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) has increased in developing countries in recent decades. This syndrome, a clustering of metabolic abnormalities, has been correlated to various socioeconomic and behavioral variables. We investigated the prevalence and prevalence ratios (PR) of MetS and related factors in an adult population of the Federal District (FD) of Brazil, which is located in the central region of the country.


A cross-sectional, population-based study conducted in 2007, with 2130 adults (aged 18 years or older) in the FD of Brazil. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the recently harmonized criteria. The prevalence of MetS and PR were estimated for each sex according to the diagnostic components and the overall contribution of the selected correlates.


The overall prevalence of MetS was 32.0% (95%CI: 28.9-35.2), with no gender difference. The single component with the greatest contribution to the diagnosis of MetS was hypertension in men (PR 5.10, 95%CI: 3.17-8.22) and high waist circumference in women (PR 5.02, 95%CI: 3.77-6.69). The prevalence of MetS increased significantly and progressively with age and excess weight. In women, higher education was protective against MetS (PR 0.66, 95%CI: 0.49-0.89) compared to 8 or less years of education. There was no association between the prevalence of MetS and behavioral variables studied.


This study provides comprehensive and alarming data about the prevalence of MetS among the adult population of Brazil's FD. The results suggest that reducing education inequalities may be an important public policy goal to improve health outcomes, especially among women.

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