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Eur J Public Health. 2008 Dec;18(6):656-60. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckn056. Epub 2008 Jul 4.

Identifying metabolic syndrome without blood tests in young adults--the Terneuzen Birth Cohort.

Author information

1
Department of Public and Occupational Health, Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Within the context of the obesity epidemic identifying young adults at risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease is important. A practical approach is based on the identification of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Our objective was to develop a simple and efficient stepwise strategy to identify MetS in young adults.

METHODS:

Subjects were part of a birth cohort (n = 2599) in Terneuzen, The Netherlands, born in 1977-86. In 2004-05: 642 of these young adults participated in a physical examination and blood tests. Tree regression was used to determine the optimal decision strategy to identify MetS.

RESULTS:

Overall prevalence of MetS, defined according to the NCEP ATPIII, was 7.5%. The tree regression yielded an optimal stepwise strategy that eliminated the need for blood tests for the diagnosis of MetS in 50-90% of the cases, depending on the accepted level of error. A large group (52% of the total) with BMI <35 had a normal waist circumference (WC) and normal blood pressure (BP). None of them had MetS. Subjects with BMI > or =35 all had MetS. If BMI <30, 38% had an increased WC or increased BP with a risk of MetS of only 6%. So for them the omission of blood tests could also be considered.

CONCLUSION:

In most young adults MetS can be identified or excluded without blood tests by a simple and stepwise strategy, based on the measurement of BMI, WC and BP. This makes it possible to develop simple prevention strategies for young adults at risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

PMID:
18603599
DOI:
10.1093/eurpub/ckn056
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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