, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 125-133,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Jan 2010

Weight change over five-year periods and number of components of the metabolic syndrome in a Dutch cohort


Overweight and obesity are associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS). We studied the association of weight change over three consecutive 5-year periods with the number of MetS components in people aged 20–59 years. 5735 participants from the Doetinchem Cohort Study were included. Weight was measured in round 1 and at each 5-year interval follow-up (round 2, 3 and 4). Weight change was defined as the absolute weight change between two consecutive measurements. The number of MetS components (assessed in round 2, 3 and 4) was based on the presence of the following components of the MetS: central obesity, raised blood pressure, reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol and elevated glucose. Associations of weight change and the number of components of the MetS were analyzed with Generalized Estimating Equations for Poisson regression, stratified for 10-year age groups. For each age group, 1 kg weight gain was positively associated with the number of components of the MetS, independent of sex and measurement round. The association was stronger in 30–39 years (adjusted rate ratio: 1.044; 95%CI: 1.040–1.049) and smaller in older age groups. Compared to stable weight (>−2.5 kg and < 2.5 kg), weight loss (≤−2.5 kg) and weight gain (≥2.5 kg) was associated with a lower and higher rate ratio respectively, for the number of components of the MetS. Our results support the independent association of weight change with the number of MetS components with a more pronounced association in younger people.