Association of cigarette smoking and metabolic syndrome in a Puerto Rican adult population

William A. Calo, Ana P. Ortiz, Erick Suárez, Manuel Guzmán, Carmen M. Pérez, Cynthia M. Pérez

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23 Scopus citations


Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) is related to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Smokers are at greater risk than nonsmokers of becoming insulin resistant and to develop cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to explore the association between cigarette smoking, MetSyn and its components among Puerto Rican adults. A representative sample of 856 persons aged 21-79 years from the San Juan Metropolitan area participated in this study. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics, including smoking habits, were gathered from a self-reported questionnaire. MetSyn was defined according to the revised NCEP-ATP III criteria and measured using biochemical measurements and anthropometric indices. Logistic regression models were used to estimate prevalence odds ratios (POR) and its 95 % confidence intervals (CI). MetSyn was significantly (P < 0.001) more prevalent in former smokers (48.4 %) as compared to current (42.7 %) and never smokers (40.0 %). However, after adjusting for possible confounders, current smokers who used more than 20 cigarettes per day were 2.24 (95 % CI = 1.00-4.99) times more likely to have MetSyn as compared to never smokers. Heavy smokers were also more likely to have high triglyceride levels (POR = 2.22, 95 % CI = 1.12-4.38) and low HDL-cholesterol levels (POR = 2.49, 95 % CI = 1.28-4.86) as compared to never smokers. This study supports previous reports of an increased risk of MetSyn among current smokers, particularly those with a heavier consumption. Tobacco control strategies, such as preventing smoking initiation and disseminating evidence-based cessation programs, are necessary to reduce the burden of MetSyn in Puerto Rico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-816
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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