Prevalence and associations of metabolic syndrome in an urban high diabetes risk population in a low/middle-income country

Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Medicine; Cardiology; Department of Medicine; Diabetes/Endocrinology and Metabolism; Internal Medicine


Background: We aimed to assess the burden of metabolic syndrome (MetS), and evaluate the phenotypic variation of MetS in a population at high risk for diabetes in urban Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: This study was embedded in a lifestyle intervention trial for the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study population comprised participants who belonged to urban households in Karachi, Pakistan.
Results: Among 15,590 individuals who were screened through diabetes risk score (DRS), 3945 individuals met the criteria for a high DRS (≥60). After excluding 1780 participants due to refusals and ineligibility, 2165 were enrolled, a total of 1188 subjects (54.9%) met the International Diabetes Federation criteria for MetS, and a total of 1199 subjects (55.4%) participants met the US National Cholesterol Education Program. Raised serum triglycerides (TGs) and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were significantly associated with MetS. On multivariate logistic regression, higher body mass index levels (obese category: odds ratio [OR] = 2.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.56-2.95), age >44 years (OR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.93-3.60), and family history of diabetes in both parents (OR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.15-2.54) were found to be independently associated with MetS, whereas higher education (OR = 0.78, 95% CI 0.57-1.06) and physical activity levels (OR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.57-0.96) had lower odds of MetS.
Conclusion: One in two individuals with a high DRS in an urban low/middle-income country setting met the criteria for MetS. Patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia defined as low HDL and high TGs represent unique subphenotypes of MetS in this population.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders