Prevalence of risk factors for metabolic syndrome in adolescents: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2001-2006

William D Johnson, Jolanda J M Kroon, Frank L Greenway, Claude Bouchard, Donna Ryan, Peter T Katzmarzyk
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2009, 163 (4): 371-7

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of distinct combinations of components of the metabolic syndrome among adolescents.

DESIGN: A complex, multistage, stratified geographic area design for collecting representative data from the noninstitutionalized US population.

SETTING: The NHANES, an ongoing surveillance of the nation's health conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PARTICIPANTS: Two thousand four hundred fifty-six Hispanic, white, and black adolescents aged 12 to 19 years observed in the 2001-2002, 2003-2004, and 2005-2006 NHANES data releases.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Metabolic syndrome was defined as having 3 or more disorders in the following measurements: waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein serum cholesterol, and glucose.

RESULTS: About half of the participants had at least 1 disordered measurement, with an overall metabolic syndrome prevalence of 8.6% (95% confidence interval, 6.5%-10.6%). Prevalence was higher in males (10.8%) than females (6.1%), and in Hispanic (11.2%) and white (8.9%) individuals than in black individuals (4.0%). In black females, there was a high prevalence of a large waist circumference (23.3%), but no component of metabolic syndrome dominated its diagnosis in black adolescents of either sex. A large waist circumference and high fasting triglyceride and low high-density lipoprotein serum cholesterol concentrations were salient factors in Hispanic and white adolescents of both sexes; high glucose concentrations were prominent among Hispanic and white males.

CONCLUSION: The low prevalence of metabolic syndrome in black adolescents, in parallel with uniformly low prevalence of all 5 risk factors among those with metabolic syndrome, portend ethnic disparities in the time table for early onset of cardiometabolic disorders.

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