Platelet and white blood cell counts are elevated in patients with the metabolic syndrome

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2005 Dec;7(12):705-11; quiz 712-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-6175.2005.04809.x.


Platelet and white blood cell counts are higher among some insulin-resistant patients and may contribute to atherothromboembolic complications. Metabolic syndrome patients are insulin resistant, often hypertensive, and at high cardiovascular disease risk, yet the relationship of platelets to the metabolic syndrome is unknown. Platelet and white blood cell counts were obtained from 135 volunteers who had measurements of blood pressure, fasting triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and glucose. A body mass index >30 kg/m2 served as a surrogate for increased waist circumference. Subjects were subdivided into three groups by the number of metabolic syndrome criteria, i.e., no metabolic syndrome risk factor (MS-0; n = 40), one or two metabolic syndrome risk factors (MS1-2; n = 61), and three to five metabolic syndrome risk factors (MS3-5; n = 34). Platelet counts were increased significantly from 226+/-8 to 257+/-8 and 276+/-10 (x10(3)/mm3) in the MS-0, MS1-2, and MS3-5 groups, respectively (p < 0.01), after adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. White blood cell counts were also increased across the three groups (5.4+/-0.2, 6.2+/-0.2, and 6.6+/-0.3 [x10(3)/mm3]; p < 0.01) after multivariate adjustment. Compared with patients with zero to two metabolic syndrome risk factors, metabolic syndrome patients have higher platelet and white blood counts, which may serve as markers of a prothrombotic and proinflammatory state and contributors to atherothromboembolic risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Platelet Count*
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Triglycerides