Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with the metabolic syndrome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE - To estimate the prevalence of and the cardiovascular risk associated with the metabolic syndrome using the new definition proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A total of 4,483 subjects aged 35-70 years participating in a large family study of type 2 diabetes in Finland and Sweden (the Botnia study) were included in the analysis of cardiovascular risk associated with the metabolic syndrome. in subjects who had type 2 diabetes in = 1,697) impaired fasting glucose (IFG)/impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) (n = 798), or insulin-resistance with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) (n = 1,988). the metabolic syndrome was de fined as presence of at least two of the following risk factors: obesity hypertension, dyslipidemia, or microalbuminuria. Cardiovascular mortality was assessed in 3,606 subjects with a median follow-up of 6.9 years. RESULTS - In women and men, respectively, the metabolic syndrome was seen in 10 and 15% of subjects with NGT. 42 and 64% of those with IFG/IGT, and 78 and 84% of those with type 2 diabetes. The risk for coronary heart disease and stroke was increased threefold in subjects with the syndrome (P < 0.001). Cardiovascular mortality was markedly increased in subjects with the metabolic syndrome (12.0 vs. 2.2%, P < 0.001) Of the individual components of the metabolic syndrome, microalbuminuria conferred the strongest risk of cardiovascular death (RR 2.80. P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS - The WHO definition of the metabolic syndrome identifies subjects with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and offers a tool for comparison of results from different studies.


  • B. Isomaa
  • Peter Almgren
  • T. Tuomi
  • B. Forsen
  • K. Lahti
  • M. Nissen
  • M.R. Taskinen
  • Leif Groop
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-689
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch