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J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Nov;88 Suppl 3:S121-30.

Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, and its association factors between percentage body fat and body mass index in rural Thai population aged 35 years and older.

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Endocrine Unit, Department of Medicine, Phramongkutklao Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.



To obtain the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) and its associated socioeconomic factors, and also to evaluate the association between percentage body fat (BF) and body mass index (BMI) in a rural Thai population.


MS defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. The prevalence of the MS was then determined using the NCEP III criteria with and without the modified waist circumference criteria. BMI indicating normal weight, overweight and obesity as re-defined for the Asian by International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO), WHO. Four-hundred and four rural Thai men and women aged 35 years and older were evaluated. Data on anthropometry, blood pressure, socioeconomic status, lifestyle-related information, blood studies, and bioelectrical impedance (BIA) values had been collected.


The prevalence of the MS in the rural Thai people was 18%, but increased to 23% with the modified Asian criteria. High BMI, female gender, and older age were associated with increased odds of the MS. Household income, dietary composition, smoking and drinking status were not associated with increased odds of the MS. There was significant association between percent BF and BMI in men and women in rural Thai population.


The MS was present in about 18% of the rural Thai population and was significantly influenced by body mass index, gender and age. Metabolic syndrome becomes an important problem in rural Thai populations who even live basic lifestyle in the non-urbanized and non-industrialized areas. Identification and clinical management of this high-risk group is an important strategy for coronary heart disease prevention.

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