Metabolic syndrome among children aged 6 to 11 years, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates: Role of obesity

Syed Mahboob Shah, Faisal Aziz, Fatima Al Meskari, Juma Al Kaabi, Unab I. Khan, Lindsay M. Jaacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate the association of metabolic syndrome with the varying degrees of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: As an ancillary to the primary study examining prevalence of MetS in a random sample of 1186 adolescents from 114 schools in Al Ain, parents and siblings aged 6 to 11 years were invited to participate in this study. After informed consent from parents and assent from children, trained nurses administered questionnaires to assess socio-demographic and lifestyle variables and conducted anthropometric measurements. Fasting blood samples were drawn to measure plasma lipids and glucose. We used Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC)-defined categories of body mass index (BMI = kg/m2) for normal weight (<85th percentile), overweight (≥85th to 94th percentile), and obese (≥95th percentiles). MetS was defined according to National Cholesterol Education Program's (NCEP)/Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) criteria. Results: Of the total 234 siblings aged 6 to 11 years, 8.9% (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 5.6-13.4) had MetS. The prevalence of MetS increased with the severity of obesity, 4.5% in normal, 16.7% in overweight, and 30.0% in obese subjects. The age, sex, and ethnicity adjusted odds (1.55, 95% CI: 1.23-1.96) of MetS increased significantly with per unit increase in BMI. Conclusions: The prevalence of MetS in study subjects increased with an increase in BMI. School-based interventions targeting metabolic risks in this population are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-742
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • UAE
  • children
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity


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