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Metabolic syndrome in type 2 diabetes: comparative prevalence according to two sets of diagnostic criteria in sub-Saharan Africans

Andre P Kengne1*, Serge N Limen2, Eugene Sobngwi34, Cathérine FT Djouogo2 and Christophe Nouedoui5

Author Affiliations

1 NCRP for Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, South African Medical research Council & University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

2 Higher Institute of Health Sciences, Bangangte, Cameroon

3 Yaounde Central Hospital and Faculty of medicine and biomedical sciences university of Yaounde 1-Cameroon, Yaounde, Cameroon

4 Institute of Health and Society; The Medical School, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle, UK

5 General Hospital Yaounde and Faculty of medicine and biomedical sciences university of Yaounde 1-Cameroon, Yaounde, Cameroon

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Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 2012, 4:22  doi:10.1186/1758-5996-4-22

Published: 31 May 2012



Available definition criteria for metabolic syndrome (MS) have similarities and inconsistencies. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of MS in a group of Cameroonians with type 2 diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the National Cholesterol Education Programme Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) criteria, and to assess the concordance between both criteria, and the implications of combining them.


We collected clinical and biochemical data for 308 patients with type 2 diabetes (men 157) at the National Obesity Center of the Yaounde Central Hospital, Cameroon. Concordance was assessed with the use of the Kappa statistic.


Mean age (standard deviation) was 55.8 (10.5) years and the median duration of diagnosed diabetes (25th–75th percentiles) was 3 years (0.5–5.0), similarly among men and women. The prevalence of MS was 71.7% according to the IDF criteria and 60.4% according to NCEP-ATP III criteria. The prevalence was significantly higher in women than in men independently of the criteria used (both p < 0.001). Overall concordance between both definitions was low to average 0.51 (95% confidence interval: 0.41–0.61). Combining the two sets of criteria marginally improved the yield beyond that provided by the IDF criteria alone in men, but not in the overall population and in women.


The IDF and NCEP-ATP III criteria do not always diagnose the same group of diabetic individuals with MS and combining them merely increases the yield beyond that provided by the IDF definition alone. This study highlights the importance of having a single unifying definition for MS in our setting.

Metabolic syndrome; Diabetes mellitus; Prevalence; Concordance; Cameroon; Sub-Saharan Africa