, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 259–267 | Cite as

Trends in metabolic syndrome risk factors among adolescents in rural Crete between 1989 and 2011

  • Charis GirvalakiEmail author
  • Constantine Vardavas
  • Christopher Papandreou
  • Georgia Christaki
  • Anna Vergetaki
  • Ioanna G. Tsiligianni
  • Christos Hatzis
  • Anthony Kafatos
Research paper



To investigate all the important factors contributing to the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) as well as to explore the changes of these factors, over time, by comparing adolescent populations of rural areas of Heraklion, Crete, for the years 2011 and 1989.


This study was carried out within two rural areas of the Heraklion region in Crete, Greece. The 1989 study was conducted in the village of Agia Varvara and the respective 2011 study within the municipality of Minoa Pediados. The study population consisted of 150 high school students (97 girls and 69 boys) in 1989 and 66 (30 girls and 36 boys) elementary (6th grade) and high school students in 2011, aged from 12 to 14 years old. Anthropometric, blood pressure and biochemical information was obtained.


Of the MetS risk factors studied, only obesity incidence was found higher in 2011 compared to 1989 (obese adolescents 1.3% in 1989 versus 21.2% in 2011, p< 0.001). On the other hand, hypertension levels were higher in 1989 compared to 2011 (46.7% versus 6.3%, respectively, p<0.001). In addition, glucose and LDL-C levels were lower in 2011.


The present study supports the fact that there are significant changes in metabolic risk factors through time in adolescent populations of Crete, mainly due to the rise in obesity levels as well as to the decrease in hypertension, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, as observed from the comparison of the years 1989 and 2011.

Key words

Adolescents Metabolic syndrome risk factors Obesity Overweight Rural Crete 


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charis Girvalaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Constantine Vardavas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher Papandreou
    • 3
  • Georgia Christaki
    • 4
  • Anna Vergetaki
    • 1
  • Ioanna G. Tsiligianni
    • 5
  • Christos Hatzis
    • 1
  • Anthony Kafatos
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of CreteHeraklion, CreteGreece
  2. 2.Center for Global Tobacco Control, Division of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition & DieteticsHarokopio University of AthensAthensGreece
  4. 4.The Fulbright FoundationAthensGreece
  5. 5.St. Barbara Health Care CenterHeraklion, CreteGreece

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