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BMI, menopausal, metabolic syndrome, obesity, rural China



  1. Chen, Jyu-Lin PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN
  2. Guo, Jia PhD, RN
  3. Lin, Chen-Xi MS
  4. Yang, Jundi BSN
  5. Mao, Ping PhD, RN
  6. Jiang, Shan BSN, RN
  7. He, Wei MS, RN
  8. Lien, Kathy BA, RN


Background: Rapid economic growth and lifestyle changes in China have resulted in increased metabolic syndrome (MetS) rates. Few investigators have examined sex-specific risk factors and the role of menopause, stress, and sleep on MetS among women in China.


Objective: In this study, we aimed to identify the risk factors for MetS among women in rural China.


Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used, and participants were recruited from rural areas in China. Female participants older than 18 years were eligible to participate. Participants had their weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure, and fasting blood measured at study sites. They also completed validated questionnaires regarding sociodemographic information and MetS-related health behaviors.


Results: A total of 646 women were included in this study. The overall prevalence of MetS was 26.2%. The MetS group had a greater number of overweight/obese women than the non-MetS group did. For premenopausal women, a higher income, being overweight/obese, and eating salty/marinated food increased their risk for MetS (odds ratio [OR], 2.56, 4.55, and 3.1, respectively). For postmenopausal women, a low level of education (OR, 0.44) and being overweight/obese (OR, 4.98) increased their risk of MetS.


Conclusion: Almost half of the women in this study were overweight/obese, and many of them did not meet the national recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, increasing their risk for MetS. Developing cultural and behavioral interventions tailored for overweight/obese women is critical in reducing MetS.