Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adolescents in India: A population-based study

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Background: In India, the prevalence of overweight among adolescents is on the rise, setting the stage for an increase in metabolic syndrome (MS). This paper presents the national prevalence of MS in adolescents in India. Methods: A nationally representative data of adolescents (10–19 years) from the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey was used. MS was defined based on the NCEP–ATP III criteria for adolescents. Bivariate analysis was used to report socio-demographic differentials in prevalence and to assess interstate variability. Multivariate logistic regression model was constructed to measure the association between socio-demographic characteristics and prevalence of MS. Census data from 2011 was projected to 2017 to calculate burden. Results: The prevalence of MS was 5.2% among adolescents. 11.9%, 15.4%, 26.0%, 31.9% and 3.7% had central obesity, high blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-cholesterol and high fasting glucose, respectively. The prevalence was higher among males (5.7% vs. 4.7%, adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0, 1.6), those residing in urban areas (7.9% vs 4.2%, AOR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.8), and from wealthier households as compared to their counterparts (8.3% vs. 2.4%, AOR: 3.4, 95% CI: 2.1, 5.5). There was wide interstate variability in the prevalence of MS (0.5% – 16.5%). In 2017, 14.2 million adolescents had MS in India. Conclusions: The prevalence of MS among adolescents in India is low and clustered in urban areas and richer households. Early prevention interventions promoting a healthy lifestyle, especially in high prevalence areas, are needed to keep MS from becoming a public health issue.