This is noteworthy because early prediction might identify people who may benefit from aggressive lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to delay or derail the disease process, says lead author Naveed Sattar, M.D., an honorary consultant in clinical biochemistry at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland.
The new definition of the metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X, was developed by the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Panel (NCEP).
Glucose intolerance is usually the fourth or fifth condition to appear," Sattar
Researchers knew that the metabolic syndrome predisposes people to CHD and diabetes, but little data existed on whether this simpler definition would be as predictive as the older, more stringent criteria.
"This is the first prospective study to show that the new criteria predict excess risk for both CHD and diabetes," he
Researchers used data from 6,447 men in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS) to test the NCEP's recently proposed definition.WOSCOPS is a primary prevention trial that proved the effectiveness of the cholesterol-lowering drug pravastatin for reducing heart disease death and disability.All the men participating in the trial had moderately elevated cholesterol levels.Sattar's
group substituted body mass index figures collected in WOSCOPS for abdominal obesity.
Using the new definition, 26 percent of the men had the metabolic syndrome.They had 1.7 times the risk of a CHD event and 3.5 times the risk of developing diabetes during 4.9 years of follow-up, Sattar
group also looked at another variable, the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) that other studies have linked to the development of heart disease and diabetes.