Aims Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors. Asian Indians, particularly women, have been reported to be at higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its selected known determinants among adult Asian Indian women of lower socioeconomic status.
Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study over a period of 1 year from January 2008 to December 2008 in South Delhi, which included 300 women (>20 years) recruited through multistage systematic random sampling. Blood pressure and anthropometric measurements were taken. Biochemical tests were performed on blood samples collected after overnight fasting. Metabolic syndrome was defined using updated National Cholesterol Education Program/Adult Treatment Panel-III (NCEP/ATP-III) guidelines with modified waist circumference for Indians and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria.
Results The overall prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 29.6% (95% CI 23.8 to 36.0) and 20.4% (95% CI 15.3 to 26.1) using NCEP/ATP-III and IDF criteria, respectively. The risk of metabolic syndrome increased with age and calorie intake. Most (203 (90%)) of the study participants were involved in physical activity with a low metabolic equivalent (MET) score but one-fifth (19.5%) had a calorie intake recommended for women involved in vigorous activity.
Conclusions The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome among women of lower socioeconomic status is a cause of concern, and calls for an effective public health response.