Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its predominant components among pre-and postmenopausal Ghanaian women

Fareed Kow Nanse Arthur1, Michael Adu-Frimpong12*, James Osei-Yeboah2, Faustina Obu Mensah1 and Lawrence Owusu3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

2 Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Health, Kintampo, Ghana

3 Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalian Medical University, 9 Western Section, Lvshun South Street Lvshunkou District 116044, Dalian City, PR China

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:446  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-446

Published: 8 November 2013



Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a clump of risk factors for development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Menopause and age are thought to predispose women to the development of metabolic syndrome. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of MetS and identify its predominant components among pre-and postmenopausal women in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana.

Two hundred and fifty (250) Ghanaian women were randomly selected for the study. They were evaluated for the prevalence of metabolic syndrome using the World Health Organization (WHO), National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III), International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Harmonization (H_MS) criteria.


Out of the total subjects, 143 (57.2%) were premenopausal and 107 (42.8%) menopausal. The study population was between the ages of 20–78 years. The overall percentage prevalence of MetS were 14.4%, 25.6%, 29.2% and 30.4% according to the WHO, NCEP-ATP III, IDF and H_MS criteria, respectively. The prevalence was found to increase with age, irrespective of criterion used. Generally, MetS was significantly higher among postmenopausal women (p < 0.05 by all criteria) compared to their premenopausal cohort, but with marked inter-criteria variations. Abdominal obesity, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, triglyceride, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride-high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio were significantly (p < 0.05) different among the two groups of women.

Central obesity, higher blood pressure and raised fasting blood glucose were the predominant components that contributed to the syndrome in Ghanaian women.


The higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women is an indication that they are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Therefore women in that group should be monitored for the two conditions and also be advised to adopt healthy lifestyles to minimize the incidence of these conditions.

MetS; Postmenopausal; Adiposity; Premenopausal; Obesity; Cardiovascular disease