Metabolic syndrome and all-cause mortality in older men and women

Eur J Clin Invest. 2012 Sep;42(9):1000-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2012.02688.x. Epub 2012 May 16.


Background: Prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) increases with age, but its association with all-cause mortality in older persons remains uncertain. This study investigated the association of all-cause mortality with MetS and its individual components in older men and women.

Methods: A total of 917 men and 1043 women aged 65 years and older from two Italian population-based cohorts were included in the study. MetS was defined according to four different definitions: National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), NCEP revised according to the American Heart Association and National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NCEP-R), International Diabetes Organization (IDF) and Joint Interim Statement (JIS). All of these definitions include abdominal obesity, hyperglycaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and hypertension. Hazard Ratios (HR) and their corresponding 95% confidence interval (95%CI) estimated from multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models were used to investigate the associations of all-cause mortality with baseline MetS status and individual MetS components.

Results: After 6·5 ± 1·8 years of follow-up, there were 179 deaths among women and 193 among men. Mortality risk was increased in women with MetS by any definition, regardless of individual components, but limited to age 70-79 years (NCEP, HR = 2·02, 95%CI, 1·16-3·53; NCEP-R, HR = 2·51, 95%CI, 1·45-4·34; IDF, HR = 2·16, 95%CI, 1·26-3·72; JIS, HR = 2·16, 95%CI, 1·26-3·72). Mortality risk of men was associated with hypertriglyceridaemia below age 70 years (HR = 2·50, 95%CI, 1·19-5·25), but unrelated to MetS status.

Conclusions: Metabolic Syndrome is associated with all-cause mortality in older women but not in men. The association, however, is limited to a narrow age range.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics as Topic