Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 199-208

First online:

Metabolic Syndrome in Blacks: Are the Criteria Right?

  • Kwame OseiAffiliated withDivision, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Email author 

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Blacks have a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) that can be partly ascribed to the lower prevalent rates of some major components of MetS, namely the lower serum triglycerides and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in blacks when compared with whites. Blacks manifest greater insulin resistance, the pivotal lesion underpinning MetS than whites. However, the relationships among insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are weaker in blacks than whites. The international bodies have recommended the use of European-based cutoff points for MetS for blacks. However, with the emerging inconsistencies in the association of insulin resistance and CVD risk factors in blacks, the use of these definitions and the cutoff points for MetS have become problematic. Therefore, it is important to review the limitations in the use of the current criteria and cutoff points of MetS in blacks to lessen the CVD risk burden in blacks.


Metabolic syndrome HDL cholesterol Triglycerides Insulin resistance Blood pressure and obesity Blacks