OBJECTIVES: To determine optimum measurements for abdominal obesity and to assess the prevalence and determinants of metabolic syndrome in Qatar.
DESIGN: National health survey.
SETTING: Qatar National STEPwise Survey conducted by the Supreme Council of Health during 2012.
PARTICIPANTS: 2496 Qatari citizens aged 18-64 representative of the general population.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Measure of obesity (body mass index, waist circumference or waist-to-height ratio) that best identified the presence of at least 2 other factors of metabolic syndrome; cut-off values of waist circumference; frequency of metabolic syndrome.
RESULTS: Waist circumference ≥102 for men and ≥94 cm for women was the best predictor of the presence of other determinants of metabolic syndrome (raised blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, triglycerides and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). Using these values, we identified 28% of Qataris with metabolic syndrome, which is considerably lower than the estimate of 37% calculated using the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Restricting the analysis to participants without known elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar or diabetes 16.5% would be classified as having metabolic syndrome. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome increased steadily with age (OR=3.40 (95% CI 2.02 to 5.74), OR=5.66 (3.65 to 8.78), OR=10.2 (5.98 to 17.6) and OR=18.2 (7.01 to 47.5) for those in the age group '30-39', '40-49', '50-59', '60-64' vs '18-29'; p
CONCLUSIONS: Waist circumference was the best measure of obesity to combine with other variables to construct a country-specific definition of metabolic syndrome in Qatar. Approximately 28% of adult Qatari citizens satisfy the criteria for metabolic syndrome, which increased significantly with age. Education and physical activity were inversely associated with this syndrome.
Al-Thani, M. H., Al-Thani, A. A., Cheema, S., Sheikh, J., Mamtani, R., Lowenfels, A. B., et al. (2016). Prevalence and determinants of metabolic syndrome in Qatar: Results from a national health survey. BMJ Open, 6(9), e009514. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009514