OBJECTIVES: To describe the metabolic syndrome and its demographic and clinical correlates in native African type-2 diabetic patients. METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis of 254 type-2 diabetic indigenous Nigerians consecutively recruited in a teaching hospital. The main outcome measure was metabolic syndrome. Variables of interest included family history/duration of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, gender, socioeconomic class, occupation and place of domicile (urban or rural). Intergroup comparisons were made with Chi-squared tests or t-tests. RESULTS: Patients were aged 35-80 years (mean: 52.0 +/- 11.7 years) and made of 154 (60.6%) males and 100 (39.4%) females. Full-blown metabolic syndrome was noted in 52 patients (20.5%). Metabolic syndrome, as defined by the WHO, was noted in 150 patients (59.1%). About 72.4% of patients were dyslipidemic, 54.3% were hypertensive, 42.5% were obese, 44.9% were microalbuminuric and 32.3% were hyperuricemic. Ischemic heart disease (myocardial infarction) occurred in only 2.4% of patients. Concurrent hypertension and dyslipidemia; obesity and dyslipidemia; and hypertension and obesity occurred in 44.4%, 42.5% and 33.1% of type-2 diabetics, respectively. Compared to the diabetics without metabolic syndrome, those with the syndrome had a significantly higher proportion of patients with a family history of hypertension and diabetes (44% versus 25%; p = 0.003); among the upper/middle socioeconomic class: 52.0% versus 30.8% (p = 0.001); and among the urban dwelling: 68.0% versus 49.0% (p = 0.004). Metabolic syndrome was inversely proportional to the physical activity of an individual (chi2 = 21.69, df = 5, p = 0.001). Blood pressure was significantly higher among patients with metabolic syndrome than those without it (140.6 +/- 22.9/85.2 +/- 12.9 mmHg versus 126.9 +/- 15.4 mmHg; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The development of metabolic syndrome in African type-2 diabetic patients is influenced by demographic and clinical factors. Vigilant dietary habit and physical exercise may reduce the chance of metabolic syndrome in urban Nigerian type-2 diabetics.
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