Metabolic syndrome in apparently “healthy” Ghanaian adults – a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ofori-Asenso, R. Agyeman, AA, Laar AK (2017)



Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a major public health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. We systematically reviewed the literature towards estimating the prevalence of MetS among apparently “healthy” Ghanaian adults.


We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Africa Journals Online, African Index Medicus, and Google scholar as well as the websites of the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health service through September 2016. Only studies conducted among apparently “healthy” (no established disease, e.g., diabetes and hypertension) adults aged ≥ 18 years were considered. Only studies that utilised the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATP), World Health Organization (WHO), or International Diabetes Federation (IDF) classifications for MetS were included.


Data from nine studies involving 1,559 individuals were pooled. The prevalence of MetS based on NCEP-ATP, WHO, and IDF classifications was 12.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.3–17.4%), 6.0% (95% CI = 1.4–13.1%), and 21.2% (95% CI = 12.4–30.9), respectively. Prevalence of MetS was higher among women than men.


Among a population of adult Ghanaians deemed “healthy,” there is a high prevalence of MetS. Preventive measures are required to address the risk components of MetS such as obesity and hypertension which are rapidly rising in Ghana.

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