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Television viewing is associated with prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Hispanic elders.

Diabetes Care. 2007 Mar;30(3):694-700.
Gao X, Nelson ME, Tucker KL.
Jean Mayer USDA HNRCA at Tufts University, 711 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111-1524, USA.

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 (> or = 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.

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