Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a common global health problem. This study aims to assess nutrient intake and risk of MetS in middle-aged Koreans based in residential areas. Participants were 161,326 (142,137 in urban and 19,189 in rural) subjects enrolled in the Korea Genome and Epidemiology Study. The prevalence of MetS was much higher in rural (39.8%) than that in urban (22.5%) subjects (p
< 0.001). The rural residents showed significantly higher blood pressure (p
< 0.001), serum triglyceride levels (p
< 0.001), and LDL (Low density lipoprotein)-cholesterol level (p
< 0.001), as well as the odds ratio (OR) for MetS (OR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.59–1.71), compared to urban residents. The rural subjects showed a higher consumption of carbohydrate and sodium compared to the urban subjects (p
< 0.001). After adjusting for potential confounders, subjects in the highest quartile of carbohydrate intake had higher OR for MetS (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.15–1.32) and those in the highest quartile of sodium intake had a higher chance of having MetS (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.07–1.16) than did those in the lowest quartiles. Our results suggested that the higher consumption of carbohydrate and sodium in rural residents might be associated with the increased risk of MetS in this population.
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