More than one-third of adults and nearly half of people age 60 years or older in the United States may have metabolic syndrome, according to a study published online in JAMA. However, the prevalence of the condition may have stabilized.

Maria Aguilar, MD, and colleagues evaluated data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2003 and 2012. They found that the overall prevalence of the metabolic syndrome increased from 32.9% in data collected from 2003 to 2004 to 34.7% in data collected from 2011 to 2012. 

Evaluating data from 2007 to 2008 to data collected from 2011 to 2012, the overall prevalence of metabolic syndrome, its prevalence among men, and its prevalence among all race and ethnic groups remained stable. However, its prevalence among women decreased from 39.4% in data collected from 2007 to 2008 to 36.6% in data collected from 2011 to 2012. From 2003 to 2012, prevalence of metabolic syndrome increased by age, from 18.3% among those aged 20 years to 39 years to 46.7% among those aged 60 years or older. 

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