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Am Heart J. 2008 Aug;156(2):405-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2008.02.022. Epub 2008 May 27.

Metabolic syndrome, endothelial dysfunction, and risk of cardiovascular events: the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS).

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.



Metabolic syndrome (MetS) predisposes to cardiovascular disease. Endothelial dysfunction is thought to be an important factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We tested the hypothesis that both MetS and endothelial dysfunction are vascular risk factors and provide additive prognostic values in predicting cardiovascular events in a multiethnic community sample.


The study population consisted of 819 subjects (467 female, mean age 66.5 +/- 8.8 years, 66% Hispanic) enrolled in the NOMAS. Metabolic syndrome was defined using the revised Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was measured using high-resolution ultrasound. Endothelial dysfunction was defined as FMD <8.44% (lower 3 quartiles). Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the effect of MetS and endothelial dysfunction on risk of cardiovascular events.


During 81 +/- 21 months of follow-up, events occurred in 84 subjects. Metabolic syndrome was independently associated with cardiovascular events in a multivariate model, including cardiovascular risk factors (adjusted hazard ratio 2.08, 95% CI 1.27-3.40). Subjects with both MetS and endothelial dysfunction were at higher risk for cardiovascular events than those with either one of them alone (adjusted hazard ratio 2.60, 95% CI 1.14-5.92).


Metabolic syndrome is associated with incident cardiovascular events. Combined use of MetS and FMD identifies those who are at higher risk of cardiovascular events. Metabolic syndrome and noninvasive FMD testing can be used concurrently for cardiovascular risk prediction.

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