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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Jun;22(6):510-6. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2010.09.009. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

Metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease among Spanish male workers: a case-control study of MESYAS.

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Department of Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Population Genetics, National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), Melchor Fernandez Almagro, 3, E-28029, Madrid, Spain.



In Spain, the incidence of coronary heart disease is below that expected based on the burden of classic cardiovascular risk factors present in the population. Whether the risk associated with metabolic syndrome is lower in Spain deserves to be investigated. This study evaluates the association of incident clinical coronary heart disease with metabolic syndrome and each of its individual defining components in a sample of Spanish working males.


Among the workers of a factory (MESYAS registry), 208 incident cases of coronary heart disease (between 1981 and 2005) were age-matched with 2080 healthy workers visited in 2004-2005. Metabolic syndrome was characterized using modified criteria of the joint consensus definition (2009). Metabolic syndrome was strongly associated with coronary heart disease (OR = 4.03; 95% CI: 2.98, 5.45) and the risk seemed to be fully explained by metabolic syndrome components (OR = 0.84, p = 0.54 after adjustment). Odds ratios for the independent effects of the diagnostic criteria were: hypertriglyceridemia (OR = 3.39, p < 0.001), hyperglycemia (OR = 2.70, p < 0.001), low HDL cholesterol (OR = 2.35, p < 0.001), hypertension (OR = 1.49, p = 0.016) and overweight (OR = 1.07, p = 0.678). Young workers showed a higher risk associated with metabolic syndrome.


The risk associated with metabolic syndrome is fully explained by its components considered independently. The risk of coronary heart disease in a Spanish male working population is considerably increased among those with metabolic syndrome, by a factor similar to that described for other countries. Public health measures to prevent a rise in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome are advisable to minimize cardiovascular disease rate in Spain.

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