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The PORMETS study was designed to estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its determinants in the overall and administrative regions of the Portuguese mainland.
A cross-sectional study of a representative sample of non-institutionalized Portuguese adults selected from primary health care centres lists including 1695 men and 2309 women was conducted from February 2007 to July 2009. A structured questionnaire was administered, collecting information on personal medical history and socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics. Anthropometrics, blood pressure, and venous blood samples were obtained. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to three operational definitions. The prevalence ratios and their respective 95% confidence intervals were calculated using binomial generalized linear regression, with the log link function.
The prevalence rates of metabolic syndrome in this sample of Portuguese adults were 36.5%, 49.6%, and 43.1%, using the Adult Treatment Panel III, International Diabetes Federation and Joint Interim Statement definitions, respectively. The most prevalent feature of metabolic syndrome in this sample was high blood pressure (64.3%) and the lowest was high fasting glucose (24.9%). After adjustment for age and gender, significant differences were observed for the 18 districts of the Portugal mainland. Additionally, metabolic syndrome was significantly more frequent in non-urban areas than in urban ones (p = 0.001). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was significantly higher in women (p˂0.001) and older participants (p˂0.001), as well as in those who reported being housewives (p = 0.010), retired (p = 0.046) or unemployed (p = 0.024).
This study showed that metabolic syndrome is highly prevalent in the Portuguese adult population. Regional differences in the prevalence of this syndrome were observed, and this condition was more common in non-urban areas and less favoured socio-economic categories.