Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1309–1316

Association of metabolic syndrome with insulin-like growth factors among adults in the US

  • Sharon Saydah
  • Rachel Ballard-Barbash
  • Nancy Potischman
Original paper



To examine the association of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) with metabolic syndrome in a nationally representative sample.


We used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Analysis is based on participants who provided a fasting blood sample and were aged 20 years and older (n = 5,903). Participants were classified by a number of risk factors for metabolic syndrome and stratified by diabetes status.


Each of the components of metabolic syndrome (increased waist circumference, higher triglycerides, lower HDL cholesterol, higher blood pressure, higher fasting glucose and diabetes) was each associated with lower levels of IGF-I, IGF-BP3 and the Ratio IGF-I/IGF-BP3. Each of the metabolic syndrome components was also associated with higher levels of insulin. Participants with 3–5 components of metabolic syndrome had significantly lower IGF-I and higher IGF-BP3 levels compared to adults with 1–2 components or 0 components, after adjustment for potential confounders. Participants with diabetes had lower levels of IGF-I and IGF-BP3, and higher levels of insulin, regardless of the number of metabolic syndrome components.


These findings may prove useful to an understanding of the role of IGF-I in human disease, in particular its relation to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and potentially some cancers.


Insulin-like growth factors Metabolic syndrome NHANES 

Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon Saydah
    • 1
  • Rachel Ballard-Barbash
    • 2
  • Nancy Potischman
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Diabetes TranslationCenter for Disease Control and PreventionHyattsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control & Population SciencesNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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