Background: There is no consistent evidence regarding the prognostic value of metabolic syndrome (MS) in predicting all-cause mortality and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk among type 2 diabetic patients. We sought to investigate whether individual or various combinations of MS components have a different predictive value than the presence of MS in this setting.
Methods: Six hundred type 2 diabetic patients (mean age 60.4+/-9 years, 54% males) without known CHD were prospectively followed-up for a mean period of 10.06 years. The presence of MS was examined using the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) definition. Statistical analyses were performed using Kaplan-Meier estimator and Cox proportional Hazard models.
Results: MS was present in 62.4% of the patients while 142 died during follow-up. Significant predictors for all-cause mortality were the presence of MS (HR 1.75), sex (HR 1.69), age (HR 1.09), and diabetes duration (HR 1.02). Regarding CHD incidents, HDL (HR 0.98), systolic blood pressure (HR 1.01), sex (HR 2.05), and total cholesterol (HR 1.005) were significant predictors while the presence of MS was not. Subjects fulfilling the triad consisting of diabetes, hypertension, and low HDL or the combination of diabetes, hypertension, low HDL, and high triglyceride levels had the highest probability for developing CHD events (HR 1.79, 1.73, respectively).
Conclusions: The presence of MS in type 2 diabetic patients without known CHD reduces the 10-year survival while specific combinations of its components have different impact on CHD risk.