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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2013;26(1-2):105-10. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2012-0294.

Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents - the recent trends in South Korea.

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Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea.



Although the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in childhood is increasing worldwide and becoming a significant public health problem, some countries report trends for stabilization. After 2005, the Health Plan 2010 of the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare has carried out the standardization of school lunch provisions for all students and reinforced nutritional and physical education in schools. Thus, an investigation of changes in the prevalence of MetS in Korean children and adolescents is important and intriguing in the aspect of evaluating the national public health intervention.


We investigated trends in the prevalence of MetS among a nationally representative sample of 5652 children and adolescents aged 10-18 years from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (KNHANES) I (1998), II (2001), III (2005), and IV (2008).


Prevalence trends in MetS were 7.5%, 9.8%, 10.9%, and 6.7% in the KNHANES I through IV, respectively (p<0.001). Among the five components of MetS, the prevalence of low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol increased most over the 1998-2005 period and decreased over the 2005-2008 period.


The prevalence of MetS has decreased since 2005 mainly because of changes in the prevalence of low levels of HDL cholesterol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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