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Air Force, gender, metabolic syndrome, military personnel, prevalence



  1. Wang, Wei-Yun PhD, RN
  2. Li, Chih-Hao MS
  3. Wu, Yi-Syuan MS
  4. Chien, Wu-Chien PhD
  5. Wang, Kwua-Yun PhD, RN
  6. Tzeng, Wen-Chii PhD, RN


Background: Authors of several studies have reported differences in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) between men and women. However, information is lacking on gender difference among military personnel.


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of MetS and its component abnormalities among Taiwanese Air Force personnel by gender and age groups.


Methods: A population-based study was conducted including 14 872 Taiwanese Air Force personnel. Data were retrieved from the military's Health Management Information System. Analyses were performed using Student t test, [chi]2 test, and linear-by-linear [chi]2 test. Statistical significance was defined as P < .05.


Results: The MetS prevalence was 14.0% (15.1% in men and 5.3% in women). Metabolic syndrome was associated with age for both men and women (both Ptrend < .001), with a greater prevalence of MetS in men aged 18 to 44 years than in women, but not in the age group of 45 years or older. In men, MetS was most prevalent in those with increased waist circumference (78.2%), followed by those with elevated blood pressure (75.6%). By contrast, in women, it was most prevalent in those with increased waist circumference (86.5%), followed by those with reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (84.3%).


Conclusions: Our findings suggest that military nurses and other health providers should consider the gender- and age-based MetS prevalence trend among Taiwanese Air Force personnel when designing interventions to identify vulnerable subgroups at a high risk of MetS. Health management programs should be adapted to minimize metabolic risks.