Treat individual risk factors not ‘metabolic syndrome’ 

Br J Cardiol 2010;17:163-5 Leave a comment
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A new study suggests that patients with metabolic syndrome are no more at risk of future myocardial infarction (MI) than those with diabetes or hypertension alone, and that doctors should focus on treating individual risk factors.

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The study, published in the May 25, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, analysed data from the INTERHEART study, a case control study of incident acute MI, to investigate whether the risk of MI associated with the metabolic syndrome is greater than that conferred by its constituent components (such as abdominal obesity, elevated glucose, abnormal lipids, and elevated blood pressure).Results showed that metabolic syndrome was associated with a two- to three-times increased risk of MI, but the same risk was conferred by having either hypertension or diabetes alone. 

The authors explain that supporters of the metabolic syndrome concept believe that when the component risk factors occur together this would have an additive or greater effect on risk. They add that their results do not support this idea, and therefore adds to the evidence that a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is not useful.

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