Metabolic Syndrome in Women
- The metabolic syndrome (MS) is more prevalent and more strongly characterized by obesity and low grade inflammation, subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in women than men.1, 2 MS confers greater cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in women particularly younger women and its prevalence is increasing, more rapidly in younger women.3, 4
- Many studies particularly in India have shown a 50% to 75% higher prevalence of MS among women than men.5, 6 In India, the overall prevalence of MS was 29% in men and 46% in women in a large study involving nearly 20,000 subjects from 10 different regions of the country.6, 7 Another study found a MS prevalence of 31% in women and 18% in men using NCEP criteria8. The prevalence is as high as >80% among Indian women with diabetes.9
- In sharp contrast, the prevalence of MS is similar or lower among Indian women than men in the US.6 In one US study, both men and women had a prevalence of 38% 10while in another study, women had only half the prevalence (17% women and 30% men).11
- In the United Kingdom, the age-adjusted prevalence of MS was 41% higher among South Asian men and 140% higher among South Asian women compared to whites.12 Furthermore, compared with whites, MS develops 10 years earlier among South Asian men and 20 years earlier among South Asian women.12
- Japanese women with MS had a 4-fold higher risk of stroke and CAD which was substantially higher than in men (Figure 056).13 The CAD risk is exponentially increased in women who have both diabetes and MS in the San Antonio Heart Study. Compared to women with neither diabetes nor MS, women with both had a 14-fold increased risk of CAD mortality, whereas men had only a 4-fold increased risk (adjusted for age, ethnic group, and a history of CVD).14 Other studies have shown extensive CAD in women with MS.15
- In gender specific analyses, MS increased the risk of all-cause mortality in women 2-fold, but no such increase was found in men.16
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