Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 313–319 | Cite as

A rural-urban comparison of the characteristics of the metabolic syndrome by gender in Korea: The Korean Health and Genome Study (KHGS)

  • S. Lim
  • H. C. Jang
  • H. K. Lee
  • K. C. Kimm
  • C. Park
  • N. H. ChoEmail author
Original Articles


The number of cases of the metabolic syndrome is increasing dramatically in Western countries. However, the evaluation of the metabolic syndrome is limited in Asian countries. Thus, our objectives were: 1) to investigate parameters of the metabolic syndrome defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)-Adult Treatment Panel III (ATPIII) in the subjects representing Korean general population and 2) the modification of which factor is most effective in reducing the metabolic syndrome. A total of 10,044 (5024 rural and 5020 urban) Korean men and women in the age range 40–69 yr voluntarily participated in this community-based cross-sectional study (a rural and an urban community was selected). Anthropometric parameters (weight, height, waist and hip circumference and blood pressure), social factors (smoking, alcohol, exercise and education status) as well as biochemical parameters (fasting glucose and insulin, lipids and body composition) were measured. Twenty-six point one per cent of the total subjects were classified as having the metabolic syndrome. Age- and sex-adjusted prevalences were 29.3 and 22.3% in the rural and urban community, respectively (p<0.01). Abdominal obesity (46.9%) and high blood pressure (45.2%) were major components in the rural community; hypertriglyceridemia (37.6%) and low HDL-cholesterolemia (37.0%) in the urban community. In conclusion, abdominal obesity in the rural community and dyslipidemia in the urban community should be a main subject of intervention, aimed at reducing the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Korea. Given the rapid progression of the Korean economy over the past 30 yr, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is expected to increase continuously. A strategy to prevent this expected extraordinary event should be conducted at a national level.

Key Words

Metabolic syndrome prevalence urban rural Korean 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Meigs JB. Invited commentary: insulin resistance syndrome? Syndrome X? Multiple metabolic syndrome? A syndrome at all? Factor analysis reveals patterns in the fabric of correlated metabolic risk factors. Am J Epidemiol 2000, 152: 908–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Trevisan M, Liu J, Bahsas FB, Menotti A. Syndrome X and mortality: a population-based study. Risk Factor and Life Expectancy Research Group. Am J Epidemiol 1998, 148: 958–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Isomaa B, Almgren P, Tuomi T, et al. Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Care 2001, 24: 683–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wilson PW, Kannel WB, Silbershatz H, D’Agostino RB. Clustering of metabolic factors and coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1999, 159: 1104–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Haffner SM, Valdez RA, Hazuda HP, Mitchell BD, Morales PA, Stern MP. Prospective analysis of the insulin-resistance syndrome (syndrome X). Diabetes 1992, 41: 715–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Executive Summary of The Third Report of The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, And Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol In Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA 2001, 285: 2486–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ford ES, Giles WH, Dietz WH. Prevalence of the metabolicsyndrome among US adults: findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. JAMA 2002, 287: 356–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chen CH, Lin KC, Tsai ST, Chou P. Different association of hypertension and insulin-related metabolic syndrome between men and women in 8437 nondiabetic Chinese. Am J Hypertens 2000, 13: 846–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Al Lawati JA, Mohammed AJ, Al Hinai HQ, Jousilahti P. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among Omani adults. Diabetes Care 2003, 26: 1781–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Araneta MR, Wingard DL, Barrett-Connor E. Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome in Filipina-American women:a high-risk nonobese population. Diabetes Care 2002, 25: 494–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    STAT-Korea, Census, ( Korea National Statistical Office 2003.
  12. 12.
    Park JS, Park HD, Yun JW, Jung CH, Lee WY, Kim SW. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome as defined by NCEP-ATP III among the urban Korean population. Korean J Intern Med (Korean) 2002, 63: 290–8.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Song J, Kim E, Shin C, et al. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among South Korean adults: the Ansan study. Diabetic Medicine 2004, 21: 1154–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Report 1998. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul, South Korea (in Korean) 2001.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Report 2001. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul, South Korea (in Korean) 2004.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    STAT-Korea, Census 2000. Korea National Statistical Office 2001.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Vache C, Rousset P, Gachon P, et al. Bioelectrical impedance analysis measurements of total body water and extracellular water in healthy elderly subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1998, 22: 537–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gray DS, Bray GA, Gemayel N, Kaplan K. Effect of obesity on bioelectrical impedance. Am J Clin Nutr 1989, 50: 255–60.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Friedewald WT, Levy RI, Fredrickson DS. Estimation of the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in plasma, without use ofthe preparative ultracentrifuge. Clin Chem 1972, 18: 499–502.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Matthews DR, Hosker JP, Rudenski AS, Naylor BA, Treacher DF, Turner RC. Homeostasis model assessment: insulin resistance and beta-cell function from fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations in man. Diabetologia 1985, 28: 412–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    WHO West Pacific Region. The Asia-Pacific Perspective: Redefining obesity and its treatment. International Obesity Task Force 2000, 2: 15–21.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Abdul-Rahim HF, Husseini A, Bjertness E, Giacaman R, Gordon NH, Jervell J. The metabolic syndrome in the West Bank population: an urban-rural comparison. Diabetes Care 2001, 24: 275–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kim S, Moon S, Popkin BM. The nutrition transition in South Korea. Am J Clin Nutr 2000, 71: 44–53.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Shephard RJ, Cox M, West C. Some factors influencing serum lipid levels in a working population. Atherosclerosis 1980, 35: 287–300.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Linn S, Fulwood R, Rifkind B, et al. High density lipoprotein cholesterol levels among US adults by selected demographic and socioeconomic variables. The Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1976–1980.Am J Epidemiol 1989, 129: 281–94.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Marrugat J, Elosua R, Covas MI, Molina L, Rubies-Prat J. Amount and intensity of physical activity, physical fitness, and serum lipids in men. The MARATHOM Investigators. Am J Epidemiol 1996, 143: 562–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    He M, Tan KC, Li ET, Kung AW. Body fat determination by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and its relation to body mass index and waist circumference in Hong Kong Chinese. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2001, 25: 748–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Deurenberg-Yap M, Deurenberg P. Is a re-evaluation of WHO body mass index cut-off values needed? The case of Asians in Singapore. Nutr Rev 2003, 61: S80–S87.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Suk SH, Sacco RL, Boden-Albala B, et al. Abdominal obesity and risk of ischemic stroke: the Northern Manhattan Stroke Study. Stroke 2003, 34: 1586–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, et al. Body size and fat distribution as predictors of coronary heart disease among middle-aged and older US men. Am J Epidemiol 1995, 141: 1117–27.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Must A, Spadano J, Coakley EH, Field AE, Colditz G, Dietz WH. The disease burden associated with overweight and obesity. JAMA 1999, 282: 1523–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Laaksonen DE, Lakka HM, Niskanen LK, Kaplan GA, Salo-nen JT, Lakka TA. Metabolic syndrome and development of diabetes mellitus: application and validation of recently suggested definitions ofthe metabolic syndrome in a prospective cohort study. Am J Epidemiol 2002, 156: 1070–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ross R, Dagnone D, Jones PJ, et al. Reduction in obesity and related comorbid conditions after diet-induced weight loss or exercise-induced weight loss in men. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2000, 133: 92–103.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lakka TA, Venalainen JM, Rauramaa R, Salonen R, Tuomile-hto J, Salonen JT. Relation of leisure-time physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness to the risk of acute myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med 1994, 330: 1549–54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lynch J, Helmrich SP, Lakka TA, et al. Moderately intense physical activities and high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness reduce the risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in middle-aged men. Arch Intern Med 1996, 156: 1307–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tuomilehto J, Lindstrom J, Eriksson JG, et al. Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. N Engl J Med 2001, 344: 1343–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Lim
    • 1
  • H. C. Jang
    • 1
  • H. K. Lee
    • 1
  • K. C. Kimm
    • 2
  • C. Park
    • 2
  • N. H. Cho
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University College of MedicineSouth Korea
  2. 2.Korean National Genome InstituteKorean National Institute of HealthSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Preventive MedicineAjou University School of MedicineSuwonSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations