Metabolic syndrome in Spain: prevalence and coronary risk associated with harmonized definition and WHO proposal. DARIOS study

Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2012 Mar;65(3):241-8. doi: 10.1016/j.recesp.2011.10.015. Epub 2012 Feb 3.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction and objectives: To update the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and associated coronary risk in Spain, using the harmonized definition and the new World Health Organization proposal (metabolic premorbid syndrome), which excludes diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.

Methods: Individual data pooled analysis study of 24,670 individuals from 10 autonomous communities aged 35 to 74 years. Coronary risk was estimated using the REGICOR function.

Results: Prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 31% (women 29% [95% confidence interval, 25%-33%], men 32% [95% confidence interval, 29%-35%]). High blood glucose (P=.019) and triglycerides (P<.001) were more frequent in men with metabolic syndrome, but abdominal obesity (P<.001) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P=.001) predominated in women. Individuals with metabolic syndrome showed moderate coronary risk (8% men, 5% women), although values were higher (P<.001) than in the population without the syndrome (4% men, 2% women). Women and men with metabolic syndrome had 2.5 and 2 times higher levels of coronary risk, respectively (P<.001). Prevalence of metabolic premorbid syndrome was 24% and the increase in coronary risk was also proportionately larger in women than in men (2 vs 1.5, respectively; P<.001).

Conclusions: Prevalence of metabolic syndrome is 31%; metabolic premorbid syndrome lowers this prevalence to 24% and delimits the population for primary prevention. The increase in coronary risk is proportionally larger in women, in both metabolic syndrome and metabolic premorbid syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology


  • Blood Glucose