Yonsei Med J.  2021 Apr;62(4):344-351. 10.3349/ymj.2021.62.4.344.

Ten-Year Trends of Metabolic Syndrome Prevalence and Nutrient Intake among Korean Children and Adolescents: A Population-Based Study

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Biostatistics Collaboration Unit, Department of Research Affairs, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) comprises a cluster of risk factors for future cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Only a few recent studies have reported the trend in the prevalence of MetS in youth. This study aimed to analyze trends in the prevalence of MetS and nutrient intake in the last 10 years and investigate the changes in MetS components among Korean children and adolescents.
Materials and Methods
We analyzed the data of 9513 children and adolescents aged 10–19 years from the 2008–2017 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Diagnosis of MetS was based on the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and modified National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) criteria.
Based on the IDF criteria, MetS prevalence increased from 1.53% in 2008 to 3.19% in 2017 (p=0.007). Based on the NCEPATP III criteria, MetS prevalence increased from 2.18% in 2008 to 3.19% in 2017; however, the increase was not statistically significant. Daily calorie and fat intakes increased significantly during the study period. Among the risk factors that MetS comprises, the prevalence rates of central obesity, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and high fasting glucose levels increased significantly.
Over the last 10 years, the prevalence of MetS has grown significantly with increasing calorie and fat intake in Korean children and adolescents. Central obesity and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and fasting glucose levels have worsened. Therefore, active support and close monitoring are required to control MetS and prevent further increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases.


Metabolic syndrome; prevalence; children; nutrient; obesity
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