This study aimed to examine the association between lifestyle factors and metabolic syndrome risk in South Korean adults. Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2016–2018 data were used. The study included 6,995 subjects (2835 male; 4,160 female). Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between the lifestyle factors, including sedentary time, sleep duration, alcohol consumption, smoking status, and dietary intake. Metabolic syndrome prevalence in healthy adults was 25.6% and 12.4% in men and women, respectively. Male with over four lifestyle risk factors had a higher OR for metabolic syndrome risk (over four lifestyle factors: OR 1.97, CI 1.18–3.27). Female with more than one lifestyle risk factor had a higher OR for metabolic syndrome risk (one lifestyle factor: OR 1.58, CI 1.10–2.28; two lifestyle factors: OR 2.08, CI 1.39–3.11; three lifestyle factors: OR 1.94, CI 1.20–3.13). In particular, female with more lifestyle factors had increased likelihood of abdominal obesity, hypertension, and high triglycerides. Male with more lifestyle factors had increased likelihood of high triglycerides. Sedentary time was significantly associated with increased metabolic syndrome in male and female. This study found a significant association between the number of lifestyle risk factors and the risk of metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. The greater the number of lifestyle risk factors, the higher the risk of metabolic syndrome in both sexes. People with a greater number of poor lifestyle behaviors tended to exhibit increased likelihood of especially elevated triglyceride levels.
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