Clustering of dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, diabetes, and hypertension and its association with fasting insulin and central and overall obesity in a general population. Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study Investigators

Metabolism. 1996 Jun;45(6):699-706. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(96)90134-1.


Clustering of elevated triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), hyperuricemia, diabetes, and hypertension has been related to insulin resistance/high insulin levels and central and/or overall obesity. The extent to which these abnormalities cluster and whether hyperinsulinemia, central adiposity, and overall obesity each independently associate with this clustering were evaluated in 14,481 US whites and African-Americans 45 to 64 years of age. With the exception of hypertension, abnormalities rarely existed in isolated form. Clustering greatly exceeded chance association (P < .001). Although this clustering was greater in relative terms (ratio of observed to expected cluster frequency) in the lean and less centrally obese, it was greater in absolute terms (observed minus expected cluster frequency as a percent of total population) in the more centrally and more generally obese. The greatest excesses were found for clusters that included both hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL-C. Multiple logistic regression models showed strong and independent graded relationships of clusters with quintiles of fasting insulin (fifth quintile odds ratio, 10 to 54, P < .001) and to a lesser degree with quintiles of the waist to hip ratio (2.2 to 5.4, P < .001 for most) and of body mass index (1.6 to 4.5, P < .05 for most). In conclusion, all abnormalities cluster in excess of that predicted by chance, with clusters showing remarkable and graded independent associations with fasting hyperinsulinemia and to a lesser extent with central and overall obesity. Thus, a metabolic syndrome occurs in both lean and obese middle-aged US adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Uric Acid / blood*


  • Insulin
  • Uric Acid