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Socioeconomic Conditions Affect Metabolic Syndrome Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 -- Cardiometabolic risk in young blacks is influenced by broad economic conditions, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Gregory E. Miller, Ph.D., from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and colleagues followed 328 black youths from rural Georgia who were 16 to 17 years old when the Great Recession began. Metabolic syndrome prevalence was assessed using the International Diabetes Federation's guidelines when youths reached 25 years of age.

The researchers found that metabolic syndrome prevalence was lowest (10.4 percent) among youths whose families maintained stable, low-income conditions during the recession. It was intermediate (21.8 percent) among downwardly mobile youths (i.e., those whose families were lower-income before the recession but slipped into poverty), while the highest metabolic syndrome rates (27.5 percent) were among youths whose families began the recession in poverty and sank into more meager conditions afterward. Similar patterns were seen for all three alternative metabolic syndrome definitions.

"These patterns suggest that broader economic forces shape cardiometabolic risk in young blacks, and may exacerbate disparities already present in this community," conclude the authors.

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Posted: September 2017