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

Angelo Scuteri, Oscar H. Franco, Al Ghatrif Majiid, Badariene Jolita, Boytsov Sergey, Hao Min Cheng, Chen Huan Chen, Seong Woo Choi, Cucca Francesco, Marc L. De Buyzere, Alessandro Delitala, Dorr Marcus, Engstrom Gunnar, Hofman Albert, Jeong Seul-Ki, Sun Seog Kweon, Langlois Michel, Young Hoon Lee, Francesco Mattace Raso, Melander OlleCristopher H. Morrell, Kyeong Soo Park, Ernst R. Rietzschel, Ryliskiene Kristina, Ligita Ryliskyte, Schminke Ulf, Schlessinger David, Min Ho Shin, Strazhesko Irina, Sung Shih-Hsien, Tkacheva Olga, Henry Volzke, Edward G. Lakatta, Peter Nilsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial ageing
  • Arteries
  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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