Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in South Asians residing in the United States

Elena Flowers, César Molina, Ashish Mathur, Megha Prasad, Leslie Abrams, Anita Sathe, Donna Malhotra, Ruby Basra, Nanette Malgesini, Gayatri Ratnam, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Mintu P. Turakhia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to define the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its component risk factors among individuals of South Asian origin living in the United States. Methods: We analyzed baseline data from 1,445 participants enrolled in a cohort study investigating risk factors for cardiovascular disease in South Asians. We defined the metabolic syndrome using the International Diabetes Federation criteria for waist circumference (>90cm for men; >80cm, women), triglycerides (>150mg/dL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (<40mg/dL (men), <45mg/dL (women)), blood pressure (>135/80mmHg), and fasting glucose (>100mg/dL). Results: The mean age was 43±10 years, and 30% of participants were women. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 27% (31% men vs. 17% women, P<0.05). Fifty-nine percent of the cohort had high waist circumference (58% men vs. 62% women, P = not significant [N.S.]), 47% had low HDL-C [46% men vs. 48% women (NS)], 19% had elevated triglycerides (23% men vs. 8% women, P<0.05), 14% had hypertension (16% men vs. 9% women, P< 0.05), and 13% had elevated fasting glucose (18% men vs. 11% women, P<0.05). The most common metabolic syndrome phenotype is low HDL-C with elevated triglycerides. Conclusions: Although the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is lower than previous reports of South Asians, the prevalence is still unacceptably high despite the presence of protective demographic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-423
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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