Kaitlin Carr '07

Assessment of Metabolic Syndrome in a College-Aged Population over Time

Purpose The college-aged population is generally considered to be at low risk for metabolic syndrome.  However, the recent rise in obesity may negatively affect the health status of this population.  The purpose of this research is to assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a college-aged population and to determine whether this statistic has changed over time. 

Methods The following lab values were assessed among 496 students: fasting blood glucose, total serum cholesterol, blood pressure, waist measurements, and body mass index (BMI). 

Results There is no significant difference in the number of students who exhibit at least one diagnostic criterion for metabolic syndrome (42% of 1999-2000 students and 39% of 2005-2006 students, p=0.5). Obesity has not increased over time among college students; there was no significant difference between the two groups' average BMI (p>0.15).  However, there is a statistically significant difference between the two groups when comparing averages for fasting blood glucose (p<0.0005), total serum cholesterol (p<0.005), and blood pressure (p<0.0005)

Conclusion  There was no significant increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome within the college-aged population over time, but there are certain trends that are statistically significant and may ultimately affect the health status of this population.

Presentation at Minnesota Dietetics Association Annual Meeting - 2007

Research Advisor: Amy Olson, PhD, RDN, LD