A diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome in youth that resolves by adult life is associated with a normalization of high carotid intima-media thickness and type 2 diabetes mellitus risk: the Bogalusa heart and cardiovascular risk in young Finns studies

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Oct 23;60(17):1631-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.05.056. Epub 2012 Sep 26.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of resolution from metabolic syndrome (MetS) between youth and adulthood on carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Background: Published findings demonstrate that youth with MetS are at increased risk of cardio-metabolic outcomes in adulthood. It is not known whether this risk is attenuated in those who resolve their MetS status.

Methods: Participants (n = 1,757) from 2 prospective cohort studies were examined as youth (when 9 to 18 years of age) and re-examined 14 to 27 years later. The presence of any 3 components (low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high triglycerides, high glucose, high blood pressure, or high body mass index) previously shown to predict adult outcomes defined youth MetS; the harmonized MetS criteria defined adulthood MetS. Participants were classified according to their MetS status at baseline and follow-up and examined for risk of high IMT and T2DM.

Results: Those with MetS in youth and adulthood were at 3.4 times the risk (95% confidence interval: 2.4 to 4.9) of high IMT and 12.2 times the risk (95% confidence interval: 6.3 to 23.9) of T2DM in adulthood compared with those that did not have MetS at either time-point, whereas those that had resolved their youth MetS status by adulthood showed similar risk to those that did not have MetS at either time-point (p > 0.20 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: Although youth with MetS are at increased risk of adult high IMT and T2DM, these data indicate that the resolution of youth MetS by adulthood can go some way to normalize this risk to levels seen in those who have never had MetS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aging*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness*
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult