Metabolic syndrome and functional ability in older age: the InCHIANTI study

Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;33(4):626-33. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.08.005. Epub 2013 Aug 23.


Background & aims: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with incident disability in middle-aged subjects. We evaluated the association of MetS with functional ability in an older population.

Methods: We enrolled 1155 participants aged 65+, derived from the InCHIANTI study, and followed for 3 years. MetS was diagnosed according to the National Cholesterol Education Program's ATP-III criteria. Functional ability was estimated using the Katz's activities of daily living (ADLs), and the Lawton and Brody for the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) scales. The association between disability and MetS at baseline and after follow-up was assessed by logistic regression.

Results: At baseline, MetS was associated with reduced probability of ADLs disability among participants aged 74+ (OR = .33, 95% CI = .14-.77; p = .010), but not in younger (5.08, 95% CI = .88-29.24; p = .069). Also, MetS was associated with reduced probability of incident ADLs disability (OR = .61, 95% CI .41-.91; p = .016), but neither with prevalent, nor incident IADLs disability.

Conclusions: In older persons, MetS is associated with reduced probability of prevalent and incident ADLs disability. Whether older persons with MetS should receive treatment and whether the current diagnostic criteria for MetS apply to older individuals need further investigation.

Keywords: Disability; Elderly; Epidemiology; Metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disabled Persons
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies