Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MES) in type 2 diabetic patients and the predictive values of the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) definitions and the individual components of the MES on total and cardiovascular mortality.
Methods: A prospective analysis of a consecutive cohort of 5202 Chinese type 2 diabetic patients recruited between July 1994 and April 2001.
Results: The prevalence of the MES was 49.2-58.1% depending on the use of various criteria. There were 189 deaths (men: 100 and women: 89) in these 5205 patients during a median (interquartile range) follow-up period of 2.1 (0.3-3.6 years). Of these, 164 (87%) were classified as cardiovascular deaths. Using the NCEP criterion, patients with MES had a death rate similar to those without (3.51 vs. 3.85%). By contrast, based on the WHO criteria, patients with MES had a higher mortality rate than those without (4.3 vs. 2.4%, p = 0.002). Compared to patients with neither NCEP- nor WHO-defined MES, only the group with MES defined by the WHO, but not NCEP, criterion had significantly higher mortality rate (2.6 vs. 6.8%, p < 0.001). Using Cox regression analysis, only age, duration of diabetes and smoking were identified as independent factors for cardiovascular or total death. Among the various components of MES, hypertension, low BMI and albuminuria were the key predictors for these adverse events.
Conclusions: In Chinese type 2 diabetic patients, the WHO criterion has a better discriminative power over the NCEP criterion for predicting death. Among the various components of the MES defined either by WHO or NCEP, hypertension, albuminuria and low BMI were the main predictors of cardiovascular and total mortality.