This study was carried out among Palestinian refugee women in the West Bank to provide data on the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its correlates. Data were obtained from a cross-sectional study of 1694 randomly selected refugee women from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) health centers throughout the West Bank during June and July 2010. In this cohort, 30% of the refugee women were overweight, 39% were obese, and 7% were extremely obese. Based on World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, the age-adjusted prevalence of MetS was 19.8%. The results of the binary logistic regression analysis indicated that older age and younger marital age were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of MetS in the women. The high prevalence of obesity and MetS mandates the implementation of national policies for its prevention, notably by initiating large-scale community intervention programs for 5.2 million refugees in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, to tackle obesity and increase the age at marriage.
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