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J Prev Med Public Health. 2008 Nov;41(6):413-8. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2008.41.6.413.

The association between circulating inflammatory markers and metabolic syndrome in Korean rural adults.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, Chosun University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.



This study was performed to investigate the associations between the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and inflammatory markers.


This cross-sectional analysis was performed using data from 1578 Koreans aged 40-69 years residing in a rural area. We investigated associations between MetS and circulating high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), white blood cells (WBC) and adiponectin. MetS was defined using the criteria proposed by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP-III).


Increased WBC counts and hs-CRP levels and decreased adiponectin levels were observed in subjects with MetS. WBC, hs-CRP and adiponectin levels linearly deteriorated with an increase in the number of MetS components (all ptrend <0.005). Finally, adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for the risk of MetS by increase/decrease in 3 inflammatory markers were calculated by multivariate logistic regression analyses. In terms of changes in inflammation markers, in men, the adjusted ORs (95% confidence interval) were 1.15 (1.01-1.31) for WBC, 1.64 (1.02-2.64) for hs-CRP, and 0.19 (0.08-0.45) for adiponectin, whereas corresponding adjusted ORs (95% CIs) in women were 1.27 (1.15-1.40), 0.98 (0.67-1.42), 0.09 (0.04-0.18), respectively.


Serum adiponectin levels and WBC counts were found to be strongly associated with MetS in both sexes. However, hs-CRP lost its significance after adjusting for BMI and other inflammatory markers in women. This study shows that inflammatory response is associated with MetS in the Korean population. Further prospective studies are necessary to confirm the contribution made by inflammatory markers to the development of MetS.

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