What is the clinical value of identifying metabolic syndrome?

Updated: Oct 17, 2019
  • Author: Stanley S Wang, JD, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, FACC, FACP, MSCI  more...
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Answer

The clinical value of the recognition of metabolic syndrome as a distinct entity has been challenged. One study questioned the predictive value of the metabolic syndrome diagnosis for the development of diabetes and cardiovascular events in older populations (aged 70-82 y and 60-79 y). [10]

Neither population showed a relationship between cardiovascular outcomes and 3 of the metabolic syndrome criteria (for waist circumference, triglycerides, and glucose). Moreover, in this group of older patients, the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was not more predictive of incident diabetes than was the fasting plasma glucose level alone.

Clearly, the individual clinical features that make up the syndrome are predictive of clinical outcomes, but whether grouping these features together under the umbrella of metabolic syndrome adds additional diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic value remains the subject of ongoing debate. [11, 12]


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