Metabolic syndrome alters heart function

The metabolic syndrome can cause severe abnormalities in heart structure and function, Portuguese research suggests.

The link depended on the number of features of the metabolic syndrome - characterised by high BP, blood sugar irregularities and excess weight around the waist.

Moreover, the association between the metabolic syndrome and cardiac function is independent of the 10-year predicted risk of CHD using the Framingham score and is not fully explained by a patient's BP, claim the researchers.

The study involved 684 adults over 45, who were randomly selected from the local region.

Participants were interviewed by a doctor and were assessed for ECG, BP and levels of blood glucose and cholesterol. A fifth of participants had the metabolic syndrome and 75 per cent had a BP of 130/80 mmHg or greater.

Cardiac abnormalities affected 8.4 per cent of women and 5.2 per cent of men having symptomatic cardiac dysfunction.

Multivariate regression to assess the link between the number of metabolic syndrome features and cardiac structure and function showed that, after adjustments, the risk of symptomatic cardiac dysfunction was more than quadrupled in those with four to five metabolic syndrome features when compared with those who had none.

Left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction, mean LV mass, LV diameter and left atrium diameter all increased significantly with the number of features of metabolic syndrome after adjustment for systolic BP.

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2007  

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