Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS), associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, resulted in subsequent functional decline among aging population. It would be of interest to investigate the characteristics and related health behaviors of MetS among community-dwelling elderly. Methods: During 2007-2010, we selected the elderly who underwent the annual health checkup and screen in Taipei Veterans General Hospital and did not have MetS in their first year of participation as the study population. After a mean of 2.8 years' follow-up, the elderly were categorized into new-developed MetS patients and non-MetS patients according to Adult Treatment Panel III diagnostic criteria of MetS. Health behaviors were collected using a questionnaire and the laboratory data were analyzed. Results: A total of 888 community-dwelling elderly were enrolled. Of those participants, 206 (23.2%) developed MetS (new-developed MetS group) and 682 (76.8%) did not develop MetS (non-MetS group). Presence of higher initial MetS score, hyperuricemia, and proteinuria, and lack of exercise were associated with new-developed MetS in the elderly. Proteinuria and initial MetS score of two patients were significantly related to the development of MetS in the Cox regression analysis (hazard ratio 2.530 and 4.728, respectively). Other health behaviors such as smoking, alcohol drinking, teeth brushing, vegetable intake, and milk intake were not correlated significantly with the development of MetS. Conclusion: For the community-dwelling elderly, proteinuria and initial MetS score of two participants were correlated to the occurrence of MetS. A stricter control of risk factors of MetS in these elderly is necessary.
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