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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2014

Gender-dependent associations between socioeconomic status and metabolic syndrome: a cross-sectional study in the adult Saudi population

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2014
Nasser M Al-Daghri, Khalid M Alkharfy, Omar S Al-Attas, Nasiruddin Khan, Hanan A Alfawaz, Saad A Alghanim, Mansour A Al-Yousef, Abdulrahman S M Al-Ajlan, Majed S Alokail
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2261-14-51) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

NMA, KMA, and OSA contributed in the design, subject recruitments and data collection. NK, HAA, ASMA and SAA carried out sample analysis, interpretation, and preparation of draft manuscript. ASMA, MAA, and MSA edited the final version of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



To determine the gender-dependent association of socio-economic status variables with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the adult Saudi population.


A total of 9164 adult Saudis (aged 18–70 years) were included in this cross-sectional study. Marital status, income, education, and occupation were used as socio-economic indicators while behavioral factor like physical exercise was also taken into account. MetS was defined using the criteria based from the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III).


In males, the odds ratio (OR) of harboring MetS was higher in married [OR1.6 (Confidence Interval (CI) 1.1, 2.4); p < 0.03], and high income class [OR 2.3(CI 1.5, 3.5); p < 0.001] and lowest in retired and unemployed individuals [1.4(1.0, 1.9); p < 0.04, 0.61(0.45, 0.82); p < 0.001] respectively. In females, MetS was inversely related to high income [OR 0.70 (CI 0.46, 1.1); p < 0.09] and education level [OR 0.38 (CI 0.26, 0.56); p < 0.001], and was significantly higher in the unemployed class [OR 1.6 (CI 1.2, 2.2); p < 0.004].


The prevalence of MetS is significantly high among retired, married and high-earning Saudi males while in females, high earners and high education seem to confer a protective effect against MetS.
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