The relationship between the metabolic syndrome and arterial wall thickness: A mosaic still to be interpreted

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and aims We aimed to identify clusters of metabolic syndrome (MetS) components, risky for extremely high intima-media thickness. Methods We studied 41,513 volunteers (men and women) from eleven cohorts worldwide, participating in the MARE (Metabolic syndrome and Artery REsearch) Consortium. Results Specific clusters of MetS components - high triglycerides-high blood pressure-abdominal obesity (TBW), low HDL cholesterol-high blood pressure-abdominal obesity (HBW), high glucose-high blood pressure-abdominal obesity (GBW) - were accompanied by a 50–90% significantly greater likelihood of presenting extremely high intima-media thickness (via ultrasound of carotid artery, CCA IMT), after controlling for age, sex, smoking, non-HDL cholesterol, and presence of diabetes mellitus. This likelihood is comparable to the effect of being 7–8 years older or of being a cigarette smoker or of having non-HDL cholesterol 50 mg/dl higher. Conclusions The consistent association of specific clusters of MetS components with extremely thick (older) large artery cross-culturally suggests that identification of those clusters in clinical practice will facilitate a personalized health care and a better – i.e. more healthy and cost-effective - prevention of major cardiovascular (CV) events.


  • Angelo Scuteri
  • Oscar H. Franco
  • Henry Völzke
  • Min Ho Shin
  • Sun Seog Kweon
  • Ernst Rietzschel
  • Ligita Ryliškytė
  • Irina Strazhesko
  • Chen Huan Chen
  • Edward G. Lakatta
  • Peter M. Nilsson
External organisations
  • University of Rome Tor Vergata
  • Erasmus University Medical Center
  • Chonnam National University
  • Federal State Institution National Research Center for Preventive Medicine, Russia
  • National Yang-Ming University Taiwan
  • National Institute on Aging, United States
  • University of Greifswald
  • Ghent University Hospital
  • Ghent University
  • Vilnius University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Arterial ageing, Arteries, Carotid intima-media thickness, Metabolic syndrome
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch