Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Saudi adult soldiers.Saudi Med J. 2005 Sep; 26(9):1360-6.SM
To estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Saudi male soldiers aged 20 years and above using the criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III).
We performed a cross-sectional survey involving a group of 2250 Saudi male soldiers aged 20-60 years residing in a military city in Northern Saudi Arabia in 2004. Participants were recruited from a primary care setting. Anthropometric data together with a brief medical history were obtained from the subjects at initial contact. Laboratory investigations were performed on the following day after fasting for 12 hours. Data on all variables required to define the metabolic syndrome according to NCEP ATP III criteria were available only for 1079 subjects who attended the laboratory for investigations (response rate: 47.9%). Data obtained from these subjects were analyzed excluding the non-respondents from the study sample.
The age-adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome was found to be 20.8%. Abdominal obesity was the most common component in the study population (33.1%) closely followed by raised serum triglycerides (32.2%) and elevated systolic blood pressure (29.5%). Over two-thirds of the subjects (71%) exhibited at least one criterion for metabolic syndrome. Prevalence of individual factors and mean values of the components of the syndrome showed a steady increase with increase in age and body fat.
The estimated prevalence conforms to the rates found in other studies performed in the Middle East and elsewhere. High rates of this syndrome predict an increased burden of cardiovascular disease and diabetes among Saudis over the next few years and call for effective healthcare planning to contain this epidemic.