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Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2008 Sep;6(3):177-86. doi: 10.1089/met.2008.0006.

The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among the multiethnic population of the United Arab Emirates: a report of a national survey.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, England.



The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome using the National Cholesterol Education Adult Panel III (NCEP), and to compare this with the prevalence using the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definitions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Data were collected on 4097 men and women aged > or =20 from the 2000 Emirates National Diabetes study and screening for risks factors for Coronary Artery Disease (ENDCAD) Study. A stratified, multistage, random sample was selected.


The age-adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome using the NCEP definition was 39.6%, which was similar to 40.5% using the IDF definition. In both men and women, larger waist circumference was associated with the presence of the metabolic syndrome compared to those who did not have metabolic syndrome. A low concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was the commonest metabolic abnormality using the NCEP definition, whereas abdominal obesity was the commonest abnormality using the IDF definition. The presence of metabolic syndrome was significantly associated with increasing age (> or =40 years), female gender, family history of diabetes, and rural location.


By either definition, the metabolic syndrome is highly prevalent in the UAE. This will have important implications for the national health-care sector in the future.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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