Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 810–816 | Cite as

Association of Cigarette Smoking and Metabolic Syndrome in a Puerto Rican Adult Population

  • William A. Calo
  • Ana P. Ortiz
  • Erick Suárez
  • Manuel Guzmán
  • Carmen M. Pérez
  • Cynthia M. Pérez
Original Paper


Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) is related to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Smokers are at greater risk than nonsmokers of becoming insulin resistant and to develop cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to explore the association between cigarette smoking, MetSyn and its components among Puerto Rican adults. A representative sample of 856 persons aged 21–79 years from the San Juan Metropolitan area participated in this study. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics, including smoking habits, were gathered from a self-reported questionnaire. MetSyn was defined according to the revised NCEP-ATP III criteria and measured using biochemical measurements and anthropometric indices. Logistic regression models were used to estimate prevalence odds ratios (POR) and its 95 % confidence intervals (CI). MetSyn was significantly (P < 0.001) more prevalent in former smokers (48.4 %) as compared to current (42.7 %) and never smokers (40.0 %). However, after adjusting for possible confounders, current smokers who used more than 20 cigarettes per day were 2.24 (95 % CI = 1.00–4.99) times more likely to have MetSyn as compared to never smokers. Heavy smokers were also more likely to have high triglyceride levels (POR = 2.22, 95 % CI = 1.12–4.38) and low HDL-cholesterol levels (POR = 2.49, 95 % CI = 1.28–4.86) as compared to never smokers. This study supports previous reports of an increased risk of MetSyn among current smokers, particularly those with a heavier consumption. Tobacco control strategies, such as preventing smoking initiation and disseminating evidence-based cessation programs, are necessary to reduce the burden of MetSyn in Puerto Rico.


Metabolic syndrome Smoking Puerto Rico Hispanics 



This project was funded by an unrestricted grant from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation with additional support from the National Center for Research Resources (U54 RR 026139-01A1) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (8U54 MD 007587-03) from the National Institutes of Health, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Training in Computational Genomic Epidemiology of Cancer (5R25CA094186-08), and the Puerto Rico Cancer Center/MD Anderson Cancer Center, Partners for Excellence in Cancer Research (U54CA96297). WAC was supported by a Post-doctoral Fellowship from The University of Texas School of Public Health, Cancer Education and Career Development Program (2R25-CA057712). We would like to acknowledge Dr. Li Li from Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western University, and the faculty and students from The University of Texas School of Public Health, Behavioral Sciences Doctoral Seminar for their contribution reviewing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Calo
    • 1
  • Ana P. Ortiz
    • 2
    • 3
  • Erick Suárez
    • 3
  • Manuel Guzmán
    • 4
  • Carmen M. Pérez
    • 5
  • Cynthia M. Pérez
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Management, Policy, and Community HealthUniversity of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesUniversity of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer CenterSan JuanUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanUSA
  4. 4.School of MedicineUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanUSA
  5. 5.School of Health SciencesUniversidad del TuraboGuraboUSA

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