Metabolic syndrome and its associated risk factors in Brazilian postmenopausal women

E A Petri Nahas, N P Padoani, J Nahas-Neto, F L Orsatti, A P Tardivo, R Dias
Climacteric: the Journal of the International Menopause Society 2009, 12 (5): 431-8

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its associated risk factors in Brazilian postmenopausal women.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 368 postmenopausal women, aged 40-- 75 years, seeking health care at a public outpatient center in Southeastern Brazil, were included. According to the US National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) guidelines, MetS was diagnosed in subjects with three or more of the following: waist circumference > or =88 cm, blood pressure > or =130/85 mmHg, triglycerides > or =150 mg/dl, high density lipoprotein cholesterol <50 mg/dl and glucose > or =110 mg/dl. Data on past medical history, tobacco use, anthropometric indicators, and values of C-reactive protein (CRP) were collected. Multivariate analysis, using a logistic regression model (odds ratio, OR) was used to evaluate the influence of various simultaneous MetS risk factors.

RESULTS: The prevalence of having at least three, four and five MetS diagnostic criteria were met in 39.6%, 16.8% and 3.8% of the cases, respectively. The most prevalent risk factor was abdominal obesity, affecting 62.5% of women. The risk of MetS increased with a personal history of diabetes (OR 5.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.82-12.54), hypertension (OR 4.52, 95% CI 2.89-7.08), cardiovascular disease (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.18-3.94) and high CRP (>1 mg/dl) (OR 3.35, 95% CI 1.65-6.79). Plasma CRP levels increased with the number of MetS components present. Age, time since menopause and smoking had no influence, while hormone therapy reduced MetS risk (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.42-0.97).

CONCLUSION: Metabolic syndrome was highly prevalent among Brazilian postmenopausal women seeking gynecologic health care. Abdominal obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high CRP were strong MetS predictors and hormone therapy appeared to play a protective role for this condition.

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