Although many studies have reported an association between total white blood cell count and metabolic syndrome, relatively few reports are available on the association between differential white blood cell counts and metabolic syndrome. The medical records of 15,654 subjects (age, median 46, range 14-90 yr; 8,380 men and 7,274 women) who visited the Center for Health Promotion were investigated. It was found that as total white blood cell (WBC) and differential WBC counts increased the frequencies of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, and metabolic syndrome also increased. Moreover, these significant relationships persisted after adjusting for age, gender, smoking, alcohol intake, educational background, and household income. The odds ratios (95% CI) for metabolic syndrome was 2.64 (2.30-3.04) in the highest quartile of total WBC count, with corresponding figures of 2.14 (1.88-2.44) for neutrophils, 2.32 (2.03-2.64) for lymphocytes, 1.56 (1.37-1.78) for monocytes, 1.36 (1.20-1.54) for basophils, and 1.82 (1.59-2.08) for eosinophils versus the lowest quartiles of the appropriate total and differential counts, respectively, after adjusting for the variables mentioned above. These independent associations were also observed by subgroup analyses according to the smoking status. Our data suggest that even within normal ranges, total WBC count and the differential WBC counts are associated with the presence of metabolic syndrome.
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