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Employment is associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women based on the 2007-2009 Korean National Health Examination and Nutrition Survey

Kang, Hee-Taik MD1,2; Kim, Hae-Young MD1; Kim, Jong-Koo MD, MPH3; Linton, John A. MD, PhD4; Lee, Yong-Jae MD, MPH, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e3182987078
Original Articles

Objective This study aims to investigate the association between employment status and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adult Korean women after stratification by menopause status.

Methods We examined the relationship between employment status and the prevalence of MetS in 5,256 Korean women (3,141 premenopausal women and 2,115 postmenopausal women) who participated in the 2007-2009 Korean National Health Examination and Nutrition Survey. Employment status was classified as unemployed, employed part time, and employed full time based on a self-reported questionnaire. A modified Asian criterion based on a harmonized definition of MetS was adopted. Sampling weights were used to take the complex sampling method into account.

Results The prevalences of MetS in the unemployed group, part-time employment group, and full-time employment group were 14.5%, 11.8%, and 12.7% in premenopausal women and 54.9%, 44.0%, and 41.8% in postmenopausal women, respectively. Compared with the unemployed group, the odds ratios (95% CIs) for MetS in the part-time and full-time employment groups were 0.79 (0.52-1.22) and 0.80 (0.56-1.16) in premenopausal women and 0.67 (0.46-0.97) and 0.66 (0.51-0.84) in postmenopausal women, respectively, after adjusting for covariates such as age, inflammatory marker, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle factors.

Conclusions Employment seems to be significantly related to a lower prevalence of MetS in postmenopausal women, but not in premenopausal women. However, there may not have been adequate statistical power to detect relations in premenopausal women. Further research is warranted to clarify the menopause-specific relationship between employment status and MetS risk.

From the 1Department of Family Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, College of Medicine, and 2Department of Medicine, Graduate School, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Family Medicine, Wonju Christian Hospital, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Republic of Korea; and 4International Health Care Center, Severance Hospital, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Received January 29, 2013; revised and accepted April 22, 2013.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Yong-Jae Lee, MD, MPH, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, 225 Geumhakno, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 449-930, Republic of Korea. E-mail:

© 2014 by The North American Menopause Society.