Gholamreza Yousefzadeh(1), Mostafa Shokoohi(2), Hamid Najafipour(1), Mahmood Eslami(1),Farank Salehi(3)


Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

1- Physiology Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2- Research Center for Modeling in Health, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3- Kerman Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Correspondence to: Mostafa Shokoohi, Email:


BACKGROUND: Along with the established effects of opium on metabolic parameters,
stimulatory or inhibitory effects of opium on metabolic syndrome are also predictable. This
study aimed to examine the association of opium use with metabolic syndrome and its
METHODS: This study was conducted on 5332 out of 5900 original sample participants enrolled
in a population-based cohort entitled the Kerman Coronary Artery Disease Risk Study in Iran
from 2009 to 2011. The subjects were divided into three groups of “non-opium users”
(NOUs = 4340 subjects), “former opium users” (FOUs = 176 subjects), and dependent and
occasional people named “current opium users” (COUs = 811 subjects). Metabolic syndrome was
defined according to two International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and National Cholesterol
Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) definition criteria.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of IDF defined-metabolic syndrome among NOUs, FOUs, and
COUs was 36.4%, 27.3%, and 39.0%, respectively; which was significantly higher in the COUs
group (P = 0.012). However, no significant difference was revealed across the three groups in
prevalence of NCEP defined-metabolic syndrome (NOUs = 37.2%, FOUs = 30.1%, and
COUs = 39.6%, P = 0.058). The odds for IDF defined-metabolic syndrome was higher in both
COUs (OR = 1.28, P = 0.028) and FOUs (OR = 1.57, P = 0.045) compared with NOUs as the
reference adjusting gender, age, body mass index, and cigarette smoking. However, the
appearance of NCEP defined-metabolic syndrome could not be predicted by opium use.
CONCLUSION: Opium use can be associated with an increased risk for metabolic syndrome
based on IDF criteria and thus preventing the appearance of metabolic syndrome by avoiding
opium use can be a certain approach to preventing cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Metabolic Syndrome, Opium, Substance Abuse, Addictive Behavior