BACKGROUND - The prevalence of metabolic syndrome has varied markedly between different studies because of the lack of internationally agreed-upon criteria to define the condition. We estimated the prevalence and lifestyle risk factors of metabolic syndrome according to three definitions of metabolic syndrome in urban Chinese men participating in the Shanghai Men's Health Study (SMHS).
METHODS - In this cross-sectional study, 3988 middle-aged, urban Chinese men 40-74 years of age who were free of type 2 diabetes at baseline provided fasting blood samples, anthropometric measurements, and information on lifestyle factors and disease history.
RESULTS - The three definitions of metabolic syndrome used in this report are from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the U.S. Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program, Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III), and a modified version of the ATP III criteria for Asian populations (ATP III-modified criteria). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 18.63%, 18.36%, and 29.34% according to IDF, ATP III, and ATP III-modified criteria, respectively. Agreement between the IDF and ATP III criteria was moderate (kappa = 0.43), whereas agreement between ATP III-modified and the IDF and ATP III criteria was good (kappa = 0.71 and 0.70, respectively). Physical activity was associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome, whereas drinking more than three drinks per day was associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, regardless of the criteria employed. The association between smoking and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this population failed to reach significance.
CONCLUSIONS - Results from this representative sample of middle-aged, urban Chinese men show that metabolic syndrome is highly prevalent in this population. Our data support the hypothesis that physical activity decreases the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and that high alcohol consumption increases risk.