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International Angiology 2007 December;26(4):312-7


language: English

Markers of inflammation and prevalence of vascular disease in patients with metabolic syndrome

Novo G., Corrado E., Muratori I., Tantillo R., Bellia A., Galluzzo A., Vitale G., Novo S.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


Aim. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease in subjects with metabolic syndrome and to investigate the relationship between atherosclerosis and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.
Methods. We studied 568 ambulatory subjects, referred to our Center for the study of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular prevention by general practitioner, for the presence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Subjects were divided in two groups: those with metabolic syndrome (n=163), and those with 0-2 metabolic abnormalities (n=405). All subjects underwent carotid artery ultrasound and blood tests including high sensitivity-CRP measurement.
Results. Prevalence of carotid lesions, previous cardiac or cerebrovascular events was higher in patients with metabolic syndrome. CRP levels were higher in patients with metabolic syndrome (0.6±0.23 vs 0.42±0.2, P<0.01). An increased relative risk for carotid atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease was not associated with each single component of the metabolic syndrome, but it was significantly associated with the coexistence of three or more of these. Patients with the metabolic syndrome had a higher incidence of carotid and coronary disease, if CRP levels were above 0.3 mg/dL.
Conclusion. Patients with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk for cardiovascular events. Strategy to treat these patients is not well clarified. Life style changes are mandatory, but in very high-risk subgroups secondary prevention strategies may be advisable. These may be identified by using CRP levels as a marker.

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