The metabolic syndrome and associated components among African women
The metabolic syndrome (MS) and its components have become a serious problem worldwide. The MS describes a cluster of risk factors related to cardiovascular disease. Some of these factors (hypertension, diabetes and obesity in women) have been found to be common among Africans. Therefore, the aim of this study was firstly to determine the incidence of the MS components among African women, using the NCEP ATP 111 (National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel) definition. Further objectives were to determine possible interrelationships between the obesity or the insulin resistance (IR) component and other MS components and with other related cardiovascular variables such as angiotensin II (Ang II) and endothelin-1 (ET-1). The subject group consisted of 101 African women (age: 20-50 yrs) that participated in the POWIRS (Profile of Obese Women with Insulin Resistance Syndrome) project. Blood pressure (BP) was taken with a Finometer device. Enthropometric measurements were also taken. Fasting glucose, lipids, Ang II and ET-1 values were obtained from blood samples. The subject group was classified according to the number of ATP III MS criteria present. None of the MS components were identified in 20 subjects, 46 presented one component and 35 had two or more of the components. The latter group showed significantly higher (p ≤ 0.05) body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), BP, glucose and triglyceride values and a significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) value than the other groups. In the multiple regression analyses, diastolic BP (DBP) and arterial compliance were associated with WC and BMI in most groups. In the group with one MS criterion, Ang II and ET-1 were associated with IR. HDL-C was associated with WC and BMI in this group. HDL-C was also significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) in this group than in the group with no MS components and this was the only significant difference found between these two groups. It is concluded that abdominal obesity (WC) may play an important role in the development of the MS as it showed significant associations with vascular complications (DBP and arterial compliance). It was further found that Ang II, ET-1 and HDL-C could also be involved in the developmental stages of the MS among younger African women.
- Health Sciences