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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 702095, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a National Sample of Adolescent Population in the Middle East and North Africa: The CASPIAN III Study

1Osteoporosis Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3Department of Epidemiology, Chronic Diseases Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4Department of Public Health, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
5Bureau of Population, Family and School Health, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran
6Department of Pediatrics, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
7Bureau of Health and Fitness, Ministry of Education and Training, Tehran, Iran
8Department of Pediatrics, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Received 14 October 2012; Revised 25 December 2012; Accepted 25 December 2012

Academic Editor: Mario Maggi

Copyright © 2013 Patricia Khashayar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The present study was designed to investigate the prevalence of different combinations of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors among a nationally representative sample of adolescents in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Methods. The study sample, obtained as part of the third study of the school-based surveillance system entitled CASPIAN III, was representative of the Iranian adolescent population aged from 10 to 18 years. The prevalence of different components of MetS was studied and their discriminative value was assessed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Results. The study participants consisted of 5738 students (2875 girls) with mean age of years) living in 23 provinces in Iran; 17.4% of participants were underweight and 17.7% were overweight or obese. Based on the criteria of the International Diabetes Federation for the adolescent age group, 24.2% of participants had one risk factor, 8.0% had two, 2.1% had three, and 0.3% had all the four components of MetS. Low HDL-C was the most common component (43.2% among the overweight/obese versus 34.9% of the normal-weight participants), whereas high blood pressure was the least common component. The prevalence of MetS was 15.4% in the overweight/obese participants, the corresponding figure was 1.8% for the normal-weight students, and 2.5% in the whole population studied. Overweight/obese subjects had a 9.68 increased odds of (95% CI: 6.65–14.09) the MetS compared to their normal-weight counterparts. For all the three risk factors, AUC ranged between 0.84 and 0.88, 0.83 and 0.87, and 0.86 and 0.89 in waist circumference, abdominal obesity, and BMI for boys and between 0.78 and 0.97, 0.67 and 0.93, and 0.82 and 0.96 for girls, respectively. Conclusion. The findings from this study provide alarming evidence-based data on the considerable prevalence of obesity, MetS, and CVD risk factors in the adolescent age group. These results are confirmatory evidence for the necessity of primordial/primary prevention of noncommunicable disease should be considered as a health priority in communities facing a double burden of nutritional disorders.