Metabolic syndrome in an island population of the eastern adriatic coast of Croatia

Ranjan Deka, Nina Smolej Narančić, Huifeng Xi, Stjepan Turek, Mirjana Čubrilo-Turek, Danijela Vrhovski-Hebrang, Branka Janićijević, Andrea Tomljenović, Lajos Szirovicza, Li Jin, Ranajit Chakraborty, Pavao Rudan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The metabolic syndrome, an assemblage of risk factors, viz., obesity, dyslipidemia, carbohydrate intolerance, and hypertension, associated with development of cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes, has become a major public health problem in the developed countries. However, data on its prevalence in worldwide populations, particularly in non-industrialized societies is sparse. We report the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in an island population of the eastern Adriatic coast of Croatia, a distinctly homogenous population living in relative isolation with a traditional way of life style pattern. The participants consist of 381 unrelated individuals (136 males, 245 females) from the island of Hvar, age 19 and above. Hvar is among the most populated Croatian islands with a total population of 11,459 individuals according to the 1991 census. Metabolic syndrome was assessed following the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) criteria, with the exception of using body mass index and waist hip ratio as the predictors of obesity. Overall age-adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome is 26% (32% in males and 24% in females) with body mass index, and 42% (57% in males and 36% in females) with waist hip ratio as the measures of obesity. Pairwise correlations of the age and sex-adjusted individual components show that with the exception of fasting plasma glucose, the other components of metabolic syndrome are significantly associated with each other, suggesting their co-morbidity. In spite of adherence to a relatively traditional life-style pattern together with a »Mediterranean diet« and rural habitat, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome is substantially high in the population of Hvar. It is likely that factors other than nutritional practices, that might include genetic susceptibility, could potentially be important in predisposition to metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalCollegium Antropologicum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Adriatic island
  • Body mass index
  • Carbohydrate intolerance
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Waist hip ratio


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