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Association of metabolic syndrome components with insulin resistance in normal weight population: the Qazvin Metabolic Diseases study

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Metabolically obese but normal weight (MONW) is associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of metabolic syndrome components with MONW in each sex in Iranian population.


This cross-sectional study was performed on 417 normal weight subjects in Qazvin, Iran between September 2010 and April 2011. MONW was defined by insulin resistance (IR) using the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA). Cut off point for IR was defined as the lower limit of top quintile of HOMA-IR values in normal weight population without any metabolic risk factors. Data were analyzed using T test, Mann–Whitney U test, and multi-variant logistic regression analysis.


Of 417 subjects, 44.3 % were female. The prevalence of MONW was 33.8 % in men and 39.8 % in women. Triglycerides levels were significantly higher in both men and women with MONW. Waist circumference was significantly higher in men with MONW, while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly lower in women with MONW. In logistic regression analysis, hypertriglyceridemia in women (OR 3.398; 95 % CI 1.306–8.846) and waist circumference (per 5 cm increment) in men (OR 1.653; 95 % CI 1.279–2.136) had independent association with MONW.


Association of metabolic syndrome components with MONW is different in men and women. Waist circumference had an independent association with IR in men but not in women. IR and its complications should be considered in lean women with hypertriglyceridemia.

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This research was officially registered as internal medicine specialty thesis No. 395 at the School of Medicine, and was supported by a grant from the research department of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences. The authors would like to thank the participants involved in this study, the department of research of Qazvin University of Medical Science, the staff of the Metabolic Diseases Research Center and the staff of the Center for Clinical Research at Qazvin Children Hospital, affiliated to Qazvin University of Medical Sciences.

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Nothing to declare.

Ethical standards

The ethics committee of Qazvin University of medical sciences approved the study. The research was conducted according to Declaration of Helsinki.

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Subjects were free to participate and gave their written informed consent.

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Correspondence to A. Ziaee.

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Hashemipour, S., Esmailzadehha, N., Hamid, H. et al. Association of metabolic syndrome components with insulin resistance in normal weight population: the Qazvin Metabolic Diseases study. J Endocrinol Invest 38, 1111–1115 (2015).

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