Maastricht University/Lebanese International University, Beirut, Lebanon
Zayed University, Dubai, UAE
University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: Suzan A. Haidar, MS, PhD candidate/Dietetic Internship Coordinator, Maastricht University/ Lebanese International University, P.O. Box 146404, Beirut, Lebanon. E-mails: [email protected] and [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a disorder characterized by a cluster of symptoms, which increases risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. OBJECTIVE:To estimate the prevalence rate of the MetS and identify its predisposing risk factors in Lebanese university students. METHODS: Using two-stage sampling, 266 students were recruited to participate in a cross-sectional study at a local University. Anthropometric measurements, biochemical data and blood pressure were collected. Students filled out the following questionnaires: demographics, lifestyle habits, beverage consumption, International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Perceived Stress Questionnaire. MetS was diagnosed based on the criteria of the International Diabetes Federation. RESULTS: The prevalence of MetS in the sample population was found to be 6.4%. Furthermore, 65% of the sample had low HDL-C levels (53.10±13.06 mg/dl) and approximately 52% had a high waist circumference (85.67±11.45 cm). Neither lifestyle habits, beverage consumption, physical activity level, sleep quality nor increased stress were associated with increased risk of developing MetS. Age was significantly associated with higher odds of developing the MetS (aOR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.03– 1.29). CONCLUSION:Metabolic syndrome is a cause of concern among Lebanese students, which highlights the need for prevention programs to decrease future health risks.