To investigate sex differences in the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Korean adults.
We examined the relationship between SES, as measured by household income or education level, and the prevalence of MetS in Korean adults who participated in the 2007-2008 Korean National Health Examination and Nutrition Survey (KNHANES). The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for MetS were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analysis across household income and education level quartiles.
We found significant differences between men and women in the association between SES and MetS, with a positive association for men and an inverse association for women. The adjusted OR and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for MetS for the highest vs. lowest quartile of household income was 1.59 (1.15-2.20) in men. The adjusted ORs for MetS for the highest vs. lowest quartile of household income and education level were 0.54 (0.41-0.72) and 0.26 (0.17-0.38) in women, respectively.
We found sex differences in the relationship between SES and the prevalence of MetS in Korea. These findings suggest that sex-specific public health interventions that consider SES are needed for the prevention and treatment of MetS.