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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-66

The metabolic syndrome in Africa: Current trends

Department of Physiology and Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus; Department of Endocrine, Diabetes and Metabolism Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Christian I Okafor
Endocrine Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, PMB 01129, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.91191

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Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of several cardiovascular risk factors. Contrary to earlier thoughts, metabolic syndrome is no longer rare in Africa. The prevalence is increasing, and it tends to increase with age. This increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the continent is thought to be due to departure from traditional African to western lifestyles. In Africa, it is not limited to adults but is also becoming common among the young ones. Obesity and dyslipidemia seem to be the most common occurring components. While obesity appears more common in females, hypertension tends to be more predominant in males. Insulin resistance has remained the key underlying pathophysiology. Though pharmacologic agents are available to treat the different components of the syndrome, prevention is still possible by reverting back to the traditional African way of life.

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