Association of peripheral total and differential leukocyte counts with metabolic syndrome and risk of ischemic cardiovascular diseases in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2007 Feb;23(2):111-8. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.647.


Background: There is increasing evidence that leukocytes play a central role in obesity, glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and cardiovascular diseases, but the role of differential leukocytes in metabolic syndrome (MetS) and atherosclerosis is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the component features of MetS and peripheral leukocyte counts and to explore whether leukocyte counts are associated with clustering of MetS and macrovascular diseases in patients with T2DM.

Methods: 1872 subjects with T2DM who enrolled in a diabetes disease management program were studied. The definition of MetS was modified from that outlined by the criteria of NCEP-ATP III. Areas under the receiver-operating characteristic curve and odds ratios at various intervals of the WBC counts were computed.

Results: The peripheral total leukocyte, monocyte, and neutrophil cell counts are increased parallel to the clustering of components of MetS. When white cell counts were analyzed per quartile and as continuous variables after adjustment for age, sex, and other known risk factors with multiple regression analysis, peripheral total leukocyte, monocyte, neutrophils, and lymphocyte counts were independently and significantly associated with specific features of clustering of MetS and prevalence of ischemic cardiovascular diseases. Leukocyte counts, especially neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, in addition with MetS is associated with the risk of ischemic cardiovascular diseases.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that differential leukocyte counts are associated with MetS and that peripheral leukocytes may play a role in the pathogenesis of macrovascular complications in patients with T2DM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Albuminuria / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / blood*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Taiwan