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Atherosclerosis. 2006 Jan;184(1):121-9.

Metabolic syndrome in aboriginal Canadians: prevalence and genetic associations.

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Blackburn Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada.



The prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and coronary heart disease (CHD) in Ontario Oji-Cree are among the world's highest. Since metabolic syndrome (MetS) increases risk of T2DM and CHD, we characterized prevalence and putative genetic determinants of MetS in Oji-Cree.


In 515 adult (> or = 18 years old) and 115 adolescent (< 18 years old) Oji-Cree subjects, using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) criteria, we determined that 29.9% of Oji-Cree adults, and 43.4% of adults > or = 35 years of age, had MetS. Furthermore, 33.9 and 8.7% of female Oji-Cree adults and adolescents, respectively, had MetS. Increased waist girth and depressed HDL cholesterol were the most prevalent individual MetS components, while increased blood pressure was least prevalent. AGT T174M, GNB3 825C>T, and APOC3 -455T>C genotypes were significantly associated with MetS (P = 0.018, 0.0056, and 0.029, respectively) for female adults, whereas FABP2 A54T genotype was associated with MetS (P = 0.040) for female adolescents.


The high MetS prevalence in Oji-Cree adults, especially women, is consistent with their high risk of T2DM and CHD. Functional polymorphisms in three candidate genes for plasma lipoproteins and blood pressure were associated with MetS in adult Oji-Cree. Furthermore, several female adolescents met the adult MetS criteria, suggesting that the genesis of MetS begins in youth, especially among aboriginal females.

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