Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with increased risks of diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Whether central obesity (CeO) is a prerequisite for the diagnosis of MetS in the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definition is a substantial issue because it may influence the clinical value of MetS for predicting subclinical atherosclerosis. Methods: We investigated the relation between MetS, as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATP) III criteria, and arterial stiffness according to CeO status in 2,560 healthy Korean subjects who participated in a community-based cohort study. Arterial stiffness was measured using brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV). Results: The prevalence of MetS was 37%; 84% of MetS subjects had CeO. The prevalence of diabetes was significantly higher in MetS subjects than in non-MetS subjects (30 vs. 8%, p <0.001). The number of MetS components was significantly correlated with baPWV (r=0.311, p <0.001). In a subgroup analysis of MetS subjects, the prevalence of diabetes was not significantly different in MetS subjects with and without CeO. MetS subjects without CeO had significantly higher baPWV than those with CeO (1654±315 vs. 1578±270 cm/s, p=0.002). Multiple regression models revealed that waist circumference was independently associated with decreased baPWV in MetS subjects. Conclusions: Despite the significant correlation between the number of MetS components and arterial stiffness, there appeared to be an inverse association between CeO and arterial stiffness in MetS subjects. In contrast to the IDF definition, our findings suggest that CeO is not crucial for the diagnosis of MetS in otherwise healthy Koreans having multiple metabolic risk factors with respect to subclinical atherosclerosis reflected in arterial stiffness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism