The association between nutrient patterns and metabolic syndrome (MetS) has not been examined in a Japanese population. A cross-sectional study was performed on 30,108 participants (aged 35-69 years) in the baseline survey of the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort Study. Dietary intake was assessed using a 46-item food frequency questionnaire. MetS was diagnosed according to the Joint Interim Statement Criteria of 2009, using body mass index instead of waist circumference. Factor analysis was applied to energy-adjusted intake of 21 nutrients, and three nutrient patterns were extracted: Factor 1 (fiber, potassium and vitamins pattern); Factor 2 (fats and fat-soluble vitamins pattern); and Factor 3 (saturated fatty acids, calcium and vitamin B2 pattern). In multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for sex, age, and other potential confounders, Factor 1 scores were associated with a significantly reduced odds ratio (OR) of MetS and all five components. Factor 2 scores were associated with significantly increased prevalence of MetS, obesity, and high blood pressure. Factor 3 scores were significantly associated with lower OR of MetS, high blood pressure, high serum triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol levels. Analysis of nutrient patterns may be useful to assess the overall quality of diet and its association with MetS.
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