Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components among overweight and obese Nigerian adolescents and young adults

C.P. Onyenekwu, A.O. Dada, O.T. Babatunde


Background: The incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), is rapidly increasing in developing countries. However, the epidemiology of MetS is not well reported in the pediatric and young adult population. We determined the prevalence of MetS and its components among overweight and obese Nigerian adolescents and young adults presenting for university admission.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of overweight and obese adolescents and young adults was performed. Blood pressure readings were taken while participants were seated. Anthropometric measures of waist circumference, weight and height were also taken using standard protocols and the body mass index was computed thereafter. Venous blood for fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides and high density lipoprotein cholesterol was collected and assayed using standard laboratory methods. Metabolic syndrome was defined by the International Diabetes Federation criteria. Statistical significance was set at 0.05.

Results: 91 individuals (18 males) aged 18.1 ± 4.85 years were studied. 13 (14.3%) of them had MetS and 11 (84.6%) of these were adolescents. Abdominal obesity was prevalent in 89 (97.8%) participants, hypertension was prevalent in 39 (42.9%) participants and hyperglycaemia was prevalent in 5 (5.5%) participants. Hypertriglyceridaemia was least prevalent in one (1.1%) participant who did not have MetS. All the participants who had hyperglycaemia (5.5%) had MetS.

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of MetS in obese and overweight Nigerian adolescents and young adults with the clustering of two components in half of the population. These findings have profound implications hence there is an urgent need to institute primary and secondary interventions in this population.

Keywords: Adolescents, Metabolic Syndrome, Obese, Overweight, Young Adults
AJOL African Journals Online