The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence and clinical characteristic of the metabolic syndrome of adults, over 40 years old, living in Korea.
This study was carried out for 2 years, 2003-2004, on total 5,330 individuals (2,197 men and 3,133 women) selected by the stratified random cluster sampling among adults over 40 years old. Metabolic syndrome was defined based on both the NCEP-ATP III criteria and Modified ATP III criteria applying the WHO-APR (Asian Pacific Region)'s abdominal obesity criteria (waist circumference > 90 cm in men, 80 cm in women) instead of NCEP-ATP III criteria.
Using NCEP-ATP III criteria, the age-adjusted overall prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 24.8% (17.6% in men, 30.0% in women). Age-adjusted overall prevalence of metabolic syndrome as defined by modified-ATP III criteria was 34.3% (26.3% in men, 40.1% in women). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome for each age group (40-49, 50-59, 60-69, ≥ 70) in men was as follows: 18.8%, 17.4%, 18.3%, 14.5%. In women: 22.3%, 32.7%, 39.9%, 39.3%. The prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides ≥ 1.7 mmol/l) was well correlated with the changing pattern of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome both in men and women.
The peak age of metabolic syndrome in men was age 40 through 49, and the prevalence decreased with aging. Therefore, early intervention for risk factors of metabolic syndrome might be required in men. On the other hand, prevention for cardiovascular disease will be needed for perimenopausal women due to considerably increased prevalence in the age 50 through 59.