Association between metabolic syndrome and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of cohort studies

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2008;25(6):539-47. doi: 10.1159/000131672. Epub 2008 May 15.


Background: Our purpose was to investigate the association between metabolic syndrome and risk of stroke by meta-analysis.

Methods: Electronic databases through July 2007 were searched to identify prospective cohort studies that examined the association between metabolic syndrome and risk of stroke. Two reviewers independently assessed eligibility and used a standardized form to collect data from published studies. The study quality was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

Results: We found 13 eligible studies that included 92,732 participants. Compared to individuals without metabolic syndrome, subjects with metabolic syndrome had a 1.6-fold increased risk of stroke (95% CI, 1.48-1.75). The relative risk of stroke associated with metabolic syndrome was 2.2 in the studies using the World Health Organization definition and 1.6 in those using the Adult Treatment Panel III definition, but the difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: This analysis shows that metabolic syndrome is an important risk factor for incident stroke. A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome may prove useful in clinical management, and its elements should ultimately become important therapeutic targets for the reduction of the stroke burden in the general population.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / epidemiology*