White blood cell count and the metabolic syndrome in older Chinese: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study

Atherosclerosis. 2008 Dec;201(2):418-24. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.12.053. Epub 2008 Mar 4.


Aims: To examine the association between white blood cell count (WBC) and metabolic syndrome (MS) in an older Chinese population.

Methods: Three thousand and twenty men and 7,256 women aged 50-85 years were recruited and received a medical check-up including measurement of complete blood count, blood pressure, obesity indices, fasting total, LDL-, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and c-reactive protein (CRP). Information on socioeconomic and lifestyle factors was also collected.

Results: Vascular risk factors including waist circumference, body mass index, triglyceride, total-, LDL-cholesterol, CRP and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were all positively associated with WBC in both men and women (p from 0.0085 to <0.001). The risk of MS increased significantly with higher total WBC, with adjusted odds ratios (95% confident interval) for second and third tertiles of 1.86 (1.43, 2.42), 2.56 (1.98, 3.32) in men and 1.67 (1.46, 1.90), 2.66 (2.34, 3.03) in women, respectively. Neutrophil and lymphocyte were strongly correlated with total WBC and showed similar association with the MS.

Conclusion: There is a strong relationship between total WBC, neutrophil and lymphocyte and the constellation of MS components and associated vascular risk in this older Chinese population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • China
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Glucose