Background: The metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which have been linked to Alzheimer disease. However, a link between Alzheimer disease and the metabolic syndrome has not yet been established.
Objective: To investigate the relationship between the metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer disease.
Design, setting, and participants: Case-control study of 50 consecutive patients diagnosed with probable Alzheimer disease from the Memory Disorders Clinics, Launceston, Australia, and Bristol, England, and 75 cognitively normal controls.
Main outcome measures: The odds ratio of the metabolic syndrome as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III.
Results: Compared with controls, patients with Alzheimer disease had a significantly larger mean waist circumference, higher mean plasma concentrations of triglycerides and glucose, and a lower mean plasma concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, but they had lower mean systolic blood pressure. The metabolic syndrome was associated with Alzheimer disease (odds ratio, 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-8.4; P = .02), and this association was strengthened when the hypertension component was excluded (odds ratio, 7.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.7-18.3; P < .001). All of the analyses were adjusted for age, sex, and location.
Conclusions: This study suggests that Alzheimer disease is associated with the metabolic syndrome. This could have implications for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer disease.