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Intern Med. 2009;48(4):179-87. Epub 2009 Feb 16.

Comparative performance of three metabolic syndrome definitions in the prediction of acute coronary syndrome.

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Diabetes Center, Tzanio General Hospital of Piraeus, Greece.



The value of the recently introduced definitions of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the identification of high cardiovascular risk subjects remains questionable. We examined the association among different definitions of MetS, and the occurrence of a first-ever acute coronary syndrome (ACS).


We studied 211 patients with a first-ever ACS and 210 control subjects. We recorded cardiovascular risk factors and the presence of MetS using 3 different definitions, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATP) III, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute/American Heart Association (NHLBI/AHA), and International Diabetes Federation (IDF), respectively. The association of MetS with ACS was assessed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression models after adjusting for potential confounding factors, such as gender, age, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and lipids.


ACS cases had a prevalence of metabolic syndrome according to NCEP-ATP III, NHLBI/AHA, and IDF criteria of 72.5%, 81.2%, and 79.1%, respectively. The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) for a first-ever ACS were 2.32 (95% CI: 1.53-3.52, p=0.001), 2.82 (95% CI: 1.79-4.43, p=0.001), and 3.26 (95% CI: 2.12-5.00, p=0.001) for NCEP-ATP III, NHLBI/AHA, and IDF MetS definitions, respectively. Multivariate analyses revealed that only IDF-defined MetS was significantly associated with ACS (OR: 2.23 95% CI: 1.30-3.82, p=0.003), while of the MetS components only waist circumference remained independently associated with ACS (O.R: 1.045 95% CI: 1.014-1.078, p=0.005).


The definition of MetS according to the IDF criteria appears to be a better predictor of ACS than NCEP-ATP III and NHLBI/AHA.

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