Open Access Research

Evaluation of metabolic syndrome in adults of Talca city, Chile

Veronica Mujica12*, Elba Leiva2, Gloria Icaza3, Nora Diaz3, Miguel Arredondo4, Rodrigo Moore-Carrasco2, Roxana Orrego2, Marcela Vásquez2 and Ivan Palomo2

Author Affiliations

1 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Program, Maule Health Service, Talca, Chile

2 Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Immunohematology, Health Sciences School, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile

3 Institute of Mathematics and Physics, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile

4 Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

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Nutrition Journal 2008, 7:14  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-7-14

Published: 15 May 2008



Insulin resistance (IR) is an important risk factor for type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM2) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Metabolic Syndrome (MS) is a clustering of metabolic alterations associated to IR; however, there is no international consensus for defining its diagnosis. Our objective was to evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of MS identified by the ATP III and IDF criteria in adults from Talca city.

Research and methods-

We studied 1007 individuals, aged 18–74, and residents from Talca. MS subjects were defined according to ATP III (three altered factors) and IDF criteria (patients with waist circumference >80/90 cm (W/M) and two others altered factors).


The prevalence of metabolic syndrome according to the IDF and ATP III criteria was 36.4% and 29.5%, respectively after adjustment for age and sex. The agreement for both criteria was 89%. The prevalence in men was higher than in women for both MS definitions, although not significant. MS probability increased with age, and the highest risk was in the 57–68 age group (ATP-MS) and 53–72 age group (IDF-MS). Hypertension, high triglycerides and abdominal obesity are the most frequent alterations in MS.


MS prevalence in adults was higher when diagnosed with IDF than with ATP criterion; in both, age is directly related with the MS presence. The MS subjects showed higher levels of blood pressure, waist circumference and plasma triglycerides. Considering our results, it is worrisome that one third of our population has a high risk of developing DM2 and CVD in the future.