Metabolic syndrome (MetS) describes a combination of risk factors that increase the risk of developing chronic diseases. The prevalences of MetS and its risk factors are increasing, especially in the Arab region. A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the prevalences of MetS and its associated risk factors among adolescents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A total of 596 students (308 boys and 288 girls) aged 10 to 15.9 years old were recruited from 14 public secondary schools in Dubai, UAE. Anthropometric and biochemical data were measured.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria, the prevalence of MetS was 3.7%, and it was more common among boys than girls (12 boys versus 10 girls). MetS was also more likely to be found in students who were obese or overweight than those with normal weight. The most prevalent and significant MetS risk factor was low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.
This study indicates the importance of carrying out further investigations about the constituents of HDL and their atherogenic effects. Additionally, these results strongly recommend setting a consensus for HDL measurement, since small variations in methodologies may lead to substantial deviations in results.