Heart health impacted by Metabolic Syndrome

11046_gr1obesitymetabolicsyndromeA study published in the Journal Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has revealed that people who have metabolic syndrome have a heightened risk of dying from heart disease than those without the condition. Another study has revealed the racial differentiation associated with cardiovascular disease as metabolic syndrome may increase the risk more in black women than in white women.

Metabolic syndrome is defined by a cluster of risk factors such as abdominal obesity and high blood pressure that can increase the risk of other conditions such as stroke and diabetes. The risk factors are attributed to increased blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low levels of “good” cholesterol, impaired glucose metabolism and abdominal obesity. “It appeared that the cardiovascular disease risk was elevated in black women by the presence of only two or three metabolic abnormalities to a degree that would require four or more metabolic abnormalities among white women,” said Dr. Michelle Schmiegelow, author of the Journal of the American Heart Association study and research fellow at University Hospital Gentofte, Denmark.

The research participants consisted of 14,364 participants, 36% were black, 47% were white and 18% were Hispanic. Participants were followed up for 13 years. During this time, 1,101 women had either developed coronary heart disease or had an ischemic stroke for the first time.

Evaluative research data was conducted through and measured body weight, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar of each participants. The mortality rate was measured from the Korea National Statistical Office.

“Our research found people who had metabolic syndrome had a 1.6-fold-increase in cardiovascular mortality compared to those who did not have the condition,” says Prof. Ki-Chul Sung. “Women who have metabolic syndrome faced a greater risk of death from any cause than their counterparts who did not.”

The statistics reflect that in 13 years of follow-up, 1,101 women had a cardiovascular event for the first time defined as coronary heart disease or ischemic stroke.

Researchers findings revealed:

• Among black women with two or three metabolic abnormalities, relative cardiovascular disease risk was more than doubled (117 percent) for women who were obese and 77 percent higher for women who were overweight.
• For white women with two or three metabolic abnormalities, being overweight or obese conveyed a cardiovascular event rate that was similar to that of normal weight white women without metabolic disorders.
• Among women without the metabolic syndrome, black obese women had almost a 2-fold increased cardiovascular disease risk compared with normal weight black women, while black overweight women had slightly increased cardiovascular disease risk.
• On the other hand, among white women without the metabolic syndrome, overweight and obese women had a cardiovascular disease risk similar to that of normal weight white women.


Race and ethnicity, obesity, metabolic health, and risk of cardiovascular disease in , Michelle D. Schmiegelow, et al., Journal of the American Heart Association, doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001695, published online 20 May 2015.

American Heart Association news release, accessed 21 May 2015 via AlphaGalileo.

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