Metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular mortality among participants of the hypertension detection and follow-up program

Debra L Canter, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors that includes obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and elevated blood pressure. Applying the criteria for MetS can serve as a clinically feasible tool for identifying patients at high risk for CV morbidity and mortality, particularly those who do not fall into traditional risk categories. The objective of this study was to examine the association between MetS and CV mortality among 10,940 American hypertensive adults, ages 30-69 years, participating in a large randomized controlled trial of hypertension treatment (HDFP 1973-1983). MetS was defined as the presence of hypertension and at least two of the following risk factors: obesity, dyslipidemia, or hyperglycemia. Of the 10,763 individuals with sufficient data available for analysis, 33.2% met criteria for MetS at baseline. The baseline prevalence of MetS was significantly higher among women (46%) than men (22%) and among non-blacks (37%) versus blacks (30%). All-cause and CV mortality was assessed for 10,763 individuals. Over a median follow-up of 7.8 years, 1,425 deaths were observed. Approximately 53% of these deaths were attributed to CV causes. Compared to individuals without MetS at baseline, those with MetS had higher rates of all-cause mortality (14.5% v. 12.6%) and CV mortality (8.2% versus 6.4%). The unadjusted risk of CV mortality among those with MetS was 1.31 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-1.52) times that for those without MetS at baseline. After multiple adjustment for traditional risk factors of age, race, gender, history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and smoking status, individuals with MetS, compared to those without MetS, were 1.42 (95% CI, 1.20-1.67) times more likely to die of CV causes. Of the individual components of MetS, hyperglycemia/diabetes conferred the strongest risk of CV mortality (OR 1.73; 95% CI, 1.39-2.15). Results of the present study suggest MetS defined as the presence of hypertension and 2 additional cardiometabolic risk factors (obesity, dyslipidemia, or hyperglycemia/diabetes) can be used with some success to predict CV mortality in middle-aged hypertensive adults. Ongoing and future prospective studies are vital to examine the association between MetS and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in select high-risk subpopulations, and to continue evaluating the public health impact of aggressive, targeted screening, prevention, and treatment efforts to prevent future cardiovascular disability and death.^

Subject Area

Biology, Biostatistics|Health Sciences, Public Health|Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Canter, Debra L, "Metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular mortality among participants of the hypertension detection and follow-up program" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1479528.