Metabolic syndrome modifies the cardiovascular risk associated with angiographic coronary artery disease in women: a report from the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation

Circulation. 2004 Feb 17;109(6):714-21. doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000115517.26897.A7.


Background: The metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by a constellation of fasting hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL cholesterol, hypertension, and/or abdominal obesity, is a risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) and cardiovascular events. The interrelationship between metabolic status and CAD on cardiovascular risk in women is not known.

Methods and results: We evaluated interrelationships between angiographic CAD, the metabolic syndrome, and incident cardiovascular events among 755 women from the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study who were referred for coronary angiography to evaluate suspected myocardial ischemia; 25% of the cohort had the metabolic syndrome at study entry. Compared with women with normal metabolic status, women with the metabolic syndrome had a significantly lower 4-year survival rate (94.3% versus 97.8%, P=0.03) and event-free survival from major adverse cardiovascular events (death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, or congestive heart failure; 87.8% versus 93.5%, P=0.003). When the subjects were stratified by the presence or absence of angiographically significant CAD at study entry, in women with angiographically significant CAD, the metabolic syndrome resulted in significantly higher risk of cardiovascular events than in women with normal metabolic status (hazard ratio 4.93, 95% CI 1.02 to 23.76; P=0.05), whereas it did not result in increased 4-year cardiovascular risk in women without angiographically significant CAD (hazard ratio 1.41, 95% CI 0.32 to 6.32; P=0.65).

Conclusions: These data suggest that in women with suspected myocardial ischemia, the metabolic syndrome modifies the cardiovascular risk associated with angiographic CAD. Specifically, the metabolic syndrome was found to be a predictor of 4-year cardiovascular risk only when associated with significant angiographic CAD.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis