Metabolic syndrome, body mass index, waist circumference, waisthip ratio, obesity
Background: Notions about the metabolic syndrome (MS) emphasized the importance of obesity. This may prevent the early diagnosis of the condition in normal weight individuals. Aim: To determine variations in prevalence of MS according to different weight and weight indices. Materials and Methods: 342 apparently healthy subjects (men 164; women 178), aged 35 to 85 years were randomly selected for the study. 240 were urban residents while 102 were rural dwellers. Anthropometric measurements and fasting blood samples were collected between 8 am and 11 am. Body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) were calculated and fasting plasma glucose (FBG), triglycerides (TG) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) determined. Results: A total of 80 subjects had three or more of predictors of the MS giving prevalence of 23.4%. Prevalence increased with BMI: 6.6%, 27% and 38.7% at BMI 18.5 – 24.9, 25 – 29.9 and ≥30 kg/m2 respectively. Similar trends were observed with waist circumference (WC) and waist–hip ratio (WHR): 5.8%, 22.1% and 58.6% at WC ≤82cm, 83 – 100cm and >100cm and 7.5%, 28% and 60% at WHR ≤0.85, 0.86 – 1.00, and >1.00 respectively. MS was most prevalent at the extreme ranges of weight measures. An appreciable percentage of normal weight individuals, 6.6%, 5.8% and 7.5% for BMI, WC and WHR had the MS. Conclusions: MS was present in normal weight individuals and screening for the condition should be considered in this group. Prevalence of MS increased with weight irrespective of the weight index considered. WC and WHR appear to be better index of MS than BMI. Urban residence is a risk factor and this may be due to unhealthy lifestyle.
Keywords: Metabolic syndrome, body mass index, waist circumference, waisthip ratio, obesity