The relationship of the built and food environments with the metabolic syndrome in the Athens metropolitan area: a sex-stratified spatial analysis in the context of the ATTICA epidemiological study

Thomas Tsiampalis, Antigoni Faka, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Christos Pitsavos, Christos Chalkias, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The built and food environments are widely acknowledged to play an important role in defining human health by influencing, among others, behaviors such as nutrition habits and physical activities. The aim of this study was to identify the spatial variability of the sex-specific prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its environmental determinants in the Athens metropolitan area. Methods: Data on the prevalence of the MetS were provided by the ATTICA epidemiological study for 2749 participants, with complete data for geographical identification (1375 women [44 years old {SD = 14 years}] and 1374 men [45 years old {SD = 13 years}]), while socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental characteristics were provided by official national and international databases. Results: Approximately 20% of the people residing in the study area were diagnosed with MetS, with its prevalence being almost two times higher in men compared to women. Areas more extensively covered by green urban spaces and sports facilities were shown to have a lower prevalence of MetS, while greater density and availability of supermarkets and street markets were inversely related to MetS prevalence in both sexes. In addition, the present analysis revealed that the beneficial role of the built environment’s characteristics on MetS prevalence was significantly stronger in the male population, while the preventive effect of the food environment’s characteristics was almost 1.5 times stronger in the female population Conclusion: Although individualized prevention and treatment approaches are necessary to decrease the burden of MetS, environmental modifications that promote healthy behaviors represent an essential health approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-734
Number of pages12
JournalHormones
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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