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Prevalence and Characteristics of Metabolic Syndrome in 111 Royal Jordanian Air Force Pilots

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Khazale NS, Haddad F. Prevalence and characteristics of metabolic syndrome in 111 Royal Jordanian Air Force pilots. Aviat Space Environ Med 2007; 78:968–72.

Introduction: Metabolic syndrome is associated with development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus, conditions that are disabling for military aircrew members. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome varies in different geographic areas and is of concern in the Middle East.

Methods: Data were collected for 111 Royal Jordanian Air Force pilots (mean age 32.5 ± 7.2 yr) during routine annual medical examinations, with an added assessment for metabolic syndrome according to the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) criteria. Measurements included height, weight, waist and hip circumference, and blood pressure. Blood was drawn in a fasting state for measurement of kidney function, liver function, lipid profile, and fasting blood sugar (FBS).

Results: There were 17 subjects who were found to have 3 or more components of metabolic syndrome. The crude prevalence was 15.3%; the age adjusted prevalence was 18.0%. Prevalence increased with age, from 11.5% for those younger than 30 yr to 26.7% for those over 40 yr of age. There were significant differences between metabolic syndrome and non-metabolic syndrome groups with respect to lipid profile, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and FBS. Subjects with metabolic syndrome had the following distribution of characteristics: 35.3% had waist circumference ≥102cm; 71.4% were hypertensive (blood pressure ≥130/85); 100% had triglyceride ≥150 mg · dl−1; 88.2% had high density lipoprotein < 40 mg · dl−1; and 23.5% had FBS ≥110 mg · d−1.

Discussion: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this population was sufficiently high to be a matter of medical concern, especially since military pilots are generally regarded as healthy and fit.
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Keywords: ATPIII criteria; Royal Jordanian Air Force; metabolic syndrome

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Royal Jordanian Air Force Medical Center, Aviation Medicine, Royal Medical Services (N. S. Khazale); and Endocrine Division, Department of Internal Medicine, King Hussein Medical Center (F. Haddad), Amman, Jordan.

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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