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Diabet Med. 2007 Feb;24(2):195-9.

Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in adolescents from a north Indian population.

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Department of Endocrinology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.



To estimate the prevalence and distribution of the metabolic syndrome (MS) in adolescents attending school in the north Indian city of Chandigarh.


At total of 1083 adolescents attending school (aged 12-17 years) participated in a community-based cross-sectional survey. Anthropometric examination included height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-hip ratio and blood pressure measurement. A fasting blood sample was taken for measurement of glucose, insulin and lipid profile. Socio-demographic characteristics were investigated using a questionnaire. The metabolic syndrome was determined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III definition modified for age.


The overall prevalence of MS in adolescents was 4.2%. However, the prevalence rose to 5.8% when the fasting plasma glucose cut-off was lowered to 5.5 mmol/l. There was no gender difference in the distribution of MS. When stratified by body mass index (BMI), 5.5% adolescents were overweight (BMI > or = 95th percentile), while 4% were at risk for overweight (BMI between 85th and 95th percentile). Of the overweight adolescents, 36.6% met the criteria for MS, while 11.5% at risk for overweight and only 1.9% of the normal population had MS (P < 0.0001). Low high-density lipoprotein was the most common and abdominal obesity the least common constituent of MS. There was a significant difference (P < 0.0001) between the prevalence of MS adolescents from low to high socio-economic strata.


A substantial number (4.2%) of north Indian adolescents and 36.6% of overweight adolescents had MS. This poses a serious threat to the current and future health of these young people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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