Background: Previous research has demonstrated an association between the metabolic syndrome (MS) and muscle mass; however, no studies have shown any relationship with a particular segment of the body, which would be more useful in clinical settings. Aims: To investigate the association between muscle development of different segments of the body and presence of the MS in adults. Methods: We used fractionation of body mass to calculate the development of muscle mass and correlated this with presence of the MS in a cross-sectional study in adults. Results: The mean age and body mass index were 42.7 ± 6.6 years and 25.3 ± 3.7 kg/m2, respectively. 23.1% of adults suffered from the MS. After adjusting for multiple variables, the Z score of both thigh and chest muscle girths were significantly associated with the MS. There were significant differences between adults with or without the MS in the Z score of thigh [–0.686; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) –1.020 to –0.351], mid-thigh (–0.566; 95% CI –0.931 to –0.200) and chest (0.611; 95% CI 0.260–0.962) girths. Conclusions: There is an association between muscle development and the MS; moreover, muscle thigh perimeter was larger in those without the MS. The use of muscle development of the thigh as an indicator of cardiovascular health-related metabolic alterations is proposed.

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