Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its components among obese men and women in Italy

Claudio L. Lafortuna, Fiorenza Agosti, Alessandra De Col, Franca Pera, Fulvio Adorni, Alessandro Sartorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Assessment of the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components in Italian obese individuals. Methods: Cross-sectional estimate of MetS prevalence using the IDF definition in 635 obese (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m 2) individuals (286 men, 349 women) aged 19-78 years hospitalised for mass excess treatment. Results: MetS prevalence was significantly (p <0.001) higher in males (75.9%) than in females (61.9%), due to the increased prevalence of 4/5 involved abnormalities. A multivariate binary logistic regression analysis disclosed a contributory independent effect of ageing (p <0.01-0.001), but not of BMI, whereas large waist circumference (p <0.01) and high waist-to-hip ratio (p <0.01) contributed to MetS prevalence only in women. Affected individuals were significantly older (males p = 0.022; females p <0.001), affected men being younger than affected women (p <0.01). The prevailing clinical picture included all abnormalities (21.2% in men, 22.2% in women); in minimal trait MetS (3/5 abnormalities), the prevailing combination was, beside central obesity, hypertension-hyperglycaemia in men (12.4%), and hypertension-dyslipidemia in women (19.4%). Conclusions: MetS is a highly prevalent condition among Italian obese individuals. Prevalence and combinations of involved abnormalities differ considerably between genders and suggest a different pathophysiology of the MetS in men and women, with possible relevance for prevention and treatment of the condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-137
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Blood pressure
  • Fasting plasma glucose
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Health(social science)


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