Television viewing is associated with prevalence of metabolic syndrome in hispanic elders

Xiang Gao, Miriam E. Nelson, Katherine L. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - We examined associations between television viewing and prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among a representative sample of Caribbean-origin Hispanic elders living in Massachusetts. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 350 Puerto Rican and 105 Dominican elders (≥60 years). Information on television viewing hours was collected by a questionnaire. The metabolic syndrome was defined by using the definition from the National Cholesterol Education Program. RESULTS - Prevalences for the metabolic syndrome were 50.1 and 56.9% among Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, respectively. Of the subjects, 82.6% had high blood pressure and 61.4% had high fasting glucose. Prevalence of the syndrome was significantly associated with television viewing. Each additional hour of television viewing was associated with a 19% greater likelihood of having the metabolic syndrome (odds ratio [OR] 1.19, 95% CI 1.1-1.3, P for trend 0.002), after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, BMI, education, alcohol use, smoking, household arrangement, physical activity, intake of energy and fat, and activities-of-daily-living score. We did not observe significant interactions of television viewing with sex, smoking status, alcohol use, or BMI (P for interaction >0.15 for all) in relation to presence of the metabolic syndrome. CONCLUSIONS - A high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in a representative sample of Caribbean-origin Hispanic elders was associated with prolonged television viewing, independent of physical activity and energy intake. Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the causality of this relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-700
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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