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Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):234-8.

The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among arab americans.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201-2417, USA.



To estimate the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Arab Americans by age, sex, and BMI and to examine the association between insulin resistance and each of the components of the metabolic syndrome.


We studied a representative, cross-sectional, population-based sample of 542 Arab Americans aged 20-75 years. The metabolic syndrome was defined by Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) and World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic criteria. Insulin resistance was estimated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR).


The age-adjusted prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 23% (95% CI 19-26%) by the ATP III definition and 28% (24-32%) by the WHO definition. Although the prevalence increased significantly with age and BMI in both sexes by both definitions, differences in estimates were noted. With ATP III, the age-specific rates were similar for men and women aged 20-49 years but were significantly higher for women aged >/=50 years. With WHO, rates were higher for men than women aged 20-49 years and similar for those aged >/=50 years. The most common component of the metabolic syndrome in men and women was low HDL cholesterol with the ATP III and the presence of glucose intolerance and HOMA-IR with the WHO. Strong associations between HOMA-IR and individual components of the metabolic syndrome were observed. After fitting a model with HOMA-IR as the outcome, waist circumference, triglyceride level, and fasting plasma glucose level were significantly associated with HOMA-IR.


The metabolic syndrome is common among Arab Americans and is related to modifiable risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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