What are the sexual predilections of metabolic syndrome?

Updated: Oct 17, 2019
  • Author: Stanley S Wang, JD, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, FACC, FACP, MSCI  more...
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Metabolic syndrome is similarly prevalent in men (24%) and women (22%), after adjusting for age. [31] However, several considerations are unique to women with metabolic syndrome, including pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. [46] Metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovarian syndrome share the common feature of insulin resistance; they therefore share treatment implications as well. [47] Cardiometabolic risk is thought to be elevated in both groups. [48]

In addition, a modest association is apparent between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women. [49] Overall, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in women appears to be increasing, particularly in those of childbearing age. [50]

Bhasin et al, as part of the Framingham Heart Study, found that sex hormone-binding globulin is independently associated with the risk of metabolic syndrome, whereas testosterone is not. Age, body mass index (BMI), and insulin sensitivity independently affect sex hormone-binding globulin and testosterone levels. [51] More recent studies have raised the possibility of an association between testosterone deficiency and metabolic syndrome. [52]

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