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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


PEDROZO, Williams et al. Metabolic syndrome and risk factors associated with life style among adolescents in a city in Argentina, 2005. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.3, pp.149-160. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adolescents in a city in Argentina and to establish its association with certain risk factors linked to life style. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 532 middle and high school students from 11-20 years of age (mean: 15.3 years; females: 60%) in the city of Posadas, province of Misiones, Argentina, from July-October 2005. Surveys were conducted of individuals' dietary habits, anthropometric measurements, sedentary levels, blood pressure readings, and laboratory results. Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed if three or more of the following conditions were present: fasting glucose > 110 mg/dL; triglycerides > 110 mg/dL; HDL cholesterol < 40 mg/dL; arterial systolic or diastolic pressure > 90th percentile; and waist circumference > 90th percentile. RESULTS: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 4.5%; significantly higher among males than among females (7.5% vs. 2.5%; P = 0.006) and among the 15-20 year old age group than among the 11-14 year old group (6.3% vs. 2.5%; P = 0.037). Of the adolescents, 44.7% had one or more components of metabolic syndrome. The risk of metabolic syndrome among obese adolescents was elevated (odds ratio = 119.73; 95% confidence interval: 27.6-519.41). Dietary habits and frequency of food consumption were similar among students with and without metabolic syndrome; however, the first group consumed fattening foods more frequently. Of all the adolescents in the sample, 84.8% were sedentary (100% of those with metabolic syndrome). CONCLUSIONS: In the city of Posadas, some 1 400 students suffer from metabolic syndrome and about 13 000 have at least one metabolic syndrome component. Joint efforts by the state government and the community are needed to change dietary habits and increase physical activity, mainly among boys, those 15-20 years of age, and the obese, to reverse the situation and reduce the morbidity/mortality that results from metabolic syndrome.

Keywords : Metabolic syndrome X; risk factors; life style; adolescent health; Argentina.

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