Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among female school children in Saudi Arabia: An anthropometric study


Adil O. Bahathiq, Bahaeldin E. Elawad*

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors which include abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, and insulin resistance or glucose intolerance. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among female school children and adolescents. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1356 female school children and adolescents between the age of 6 to 18 years. Body mass index, waist circumference, blood glucose level, lipid profile, and arterial blood pressure were determined. Criteria of ATP III were used to diagnose metabolic syndrome among participants. Among 1356 female school children and adolescents aged 6-18 years, 15.2% were overweight and 15.3% were obese. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 17.11% overall, 62.02% in obese and 50% in overweight participants. An enormous population of Saudi children and adolescents particularly females are potential to develop metabolic syndrome. We recommend a national obesity prevention program at community level to be implemented to promote leaner and consequently healthier community; Weight reduction program, lifestyle modification, and screening for risk factors of metabolic syndrome should be given rather special consideration.


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