To determine the association of central obesity with the components of the metabolic syndrome (i.e., hyperinsulinemia, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C]) and plasma levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) in young adults. We hypothesized that central obesity as determined by waist circumference would be predictive of components of the metabolic syndrome and of PAI-1.
Participants in this descriptive study consisted of 85 healthy young adults aged 19-22 years, 62% women who fasted for 12 h prior to data collection in the General Clinical Research Center at a major university hospital medical center in the southeastern United States.
The majority of the participants had one or more components of the metabolic syndrome (n= 43, 51%). Central obesity was present in 14.1% and was more common in women than men (chi(2)= 5.11; p= 0.021). Central obesity was significantly and positively correlated with elevated blood pressure (BP) and levels of insulin and PAI-1 while being negatively correlated with HDL-C. In multiple regression analyses, diastolic BP, insulin, and HDL-C were predictors of waist circumference (R(2)= 0.615). In a separate multiple regression, PAI-1 was predicted by waist circumference (R(2)= 0.331).
Many otherwise healthy young adults have one or more components of the metabolic syndrome. Assessment and institution of preventative measures for obesity and the components of the metabolic syndrome should begin in childhood. Furthermore, determination of waist circumference especially in young women may aid the practitioner to identify those at risk for the metabolic syndrome earlier in their disease trajectory. Furthermore, insulin resistance is believed to occur initially in the trajectory of the metabolic syndrome, making it a principal contender for suitable interventions to reduce risk for both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance was used to assess for insulin resistance among the euglycemic participants. Recording the presence of insulin resistance will aid the practitioner in determining if a low-risk patient is in peril for development of type 2 diabetes and/or CVD. Early cardiovascular risk recognition is vital to clinical practice as it allows more time for the practitioner to counsel patients for the essential planning needed to make lifestyle changes.