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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2005 Jan;67(1):53-62.

The metabolic syndrome in Chinese, Malays and Asian Indians. Factor analysis of data from the 1998 Singapore National Health Survey.

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Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, College of Medicine Building, 16 College Road, Singapore 169854, Singapore.


We used factor analysis to define and compare the manner in which the various features of the metabolic syndrome are linked or clustered in Chinese, Malays and Asian Indians. One thousand nine hundred and fifty seven men (1324 Chinese, 391 Malays and 261 Asian Indians) and 2308 women (1622 Chinese, 391 Malays and 296 Asian Indians) were examined. Anthropometry, blood pressure, serum glucose, lipid concentrations, and serum insulin were measured for all subjects. These data were then subjected to factor analysis which reduced the variables examined to three factors in all ethnic groups and both genders. The first (dyslipidemia) factor was positively loaded for obesity, insulin resistance (IR), fasting triglyceride and negatively loaded for HDL-cholesterol. The second (hyperglycemia) factor was positively loaded for IR and blood glucose. The third (hypertension) factor was positively loaded for obesity and blood pressure. IR was positively loaded in the hypertension factor in Malay women but not in others. Rather than a single entity causally associated with insulin resistance (IR), our findings support a concept in which the metabolic syndrome represents several distinct entities (dyslipidemia, hypertension and hyperglycemia). It appears that Malay females may be more prone to develop hypertension in association with IR.

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