Aims: We conducted this study to compare the relationships between subclinical atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome (MS) defined by four definitions in Chinese subjects. Methods: In 2006-2007, we enrolled 140 Chinese subjects without reported diabetes in this study. Anthropometric, biochemical profile, and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) were measured. MS was defined by International Diabetes Federation (IDF), American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (AHA/NHLBI), National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panal III (NCEP-ATP III), and World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results: Subjects with MS defined by IDF and AHA/NHLBI criteria had significantly higher carotid IMT, controlling for age, gender, smoking, and serum LDL-C (MS by IDF, partial r = 0.225, p = 0.008; AHA/NHLBI, partial r = 0.176, p = 0.04). The association between carotid IMT and MS defined by NCEP-ATP III or WHO criteria was not significant. Subjects with more components of MS defined by IDF, AHA/NHLBI, or NCEP-ATP III criteria correlated to higher carotid IMT in adjusted models (p-values for trend, MS by IDF, 0.011; AHA/NHLBI, 0.011; NCEP-ATPIII, 0.01; WHO, 0.113). Conclusion: MS definitions by IDF and AHA/NHLBI criteria are the best among four definitions in detecting subclinical atherosclerosis in non-diabetic Chinese subjects; whereas MS defined by WHO criteria is the worst.
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