Comparison of three different definitions for the metabolic syndrome in non-diabetic Europeans

Qing Qiao*, J. Toumilehto, P. Jousilahti, J. Lindström, L. M. Bouter, J. M. Dekker, R. J. Heine, G. Nijpels, C. D.A. Stehouwer, A. Pajak, R. Gabriel, J. Muñiz, M. Pladevall, M. Serrano-Rios, S. Vega, P. Horcajo, A. Segura, I. Esteva, I. Carreira, P. SainzJ. Cabello, A. Porres, I. López, M. Eliasson, B. Stegmayr, V. Lundberg, N. J. Wareham, N. Unwin, N. Ahmad, K. G.M.M. Alberti, L. Hayes, K. Borch-Johnsen, J. Eriksson, G. Hu, K. Pyörälä, J. Toumilehto, W. G. Gao, M. Peltonen, J. M. Dekker, K. G.M.M. Alberti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim - To compare definitions for the metabolic syndrome given by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Group for Study of Insulin Resistance (EGIR), and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). Study population - 4,190 men and 4,950 women from seven cross-sectional European studies. Results - The age-standardised prevalence of the metabolic syndrome by different definitions was 16.5-24.7% in men and 15.2-20.9% in women aged 30-77 years, and was lowest by the EGIR criteria. Subjects who met all three definitions accounted for only 31% of the men and 34% of the women who had the metabolic syndrome by any of the three definitions, whereas 37% of these men and 39% of these women met only one of the three. Subjects with the NCEP definition only were more obese, hypertensive and dyslipidaemic than those identified by other definitions. Conclusions - The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is high in non-diabetic Europeans. The agreement between the three definitions in the identification of subjects with the metabolic syndrome is poor and the phenotypes of those identified differ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Definitions
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome


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