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Metabolic Syndrome Can Hike Peripheral Artery Disease Risk

Study in women also finds markers of inflammation elevated with metabolic syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Women with the array of cardiovascular risk factors known as metabolic syndrome (MetS) are at elevated risk for the eventual development of peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to a study published online Sept. 8 in Circulation.

David Conen, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues followed a cohort of subjects in the Women's Health Study, who were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline, looking for incidence of PAD. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the PAD risk for women with and without MetS. The researchers also assessed the relationships between MetS and inflammation measured by levels of C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1).

The researchers found that women with MetS had a 62 percent increased risk for PAD. Following adjustment for age and smoking status, MetS remained significantly associated with PAD (hazard ratio, 1.48). However, when hsCRP and sICAM-1 were added to the risk models, risk associated with the MetS was attenuated and no longer achieved significance.

"In conclusion, similar to the previously noted relationship between the MetS and incident coronary heart disease and stroke, this study demonstrated a modest positive association with future PAD in a population of otherwise low-risk women. Substantially increased plasma levels of hsCRP and sICAM-1 were evident in subjects with MetS and a strong influence of these factors on the relationship between MetS and PAD was noted, suggesting a possible pathophysiologic role," the authors write.

One of the study authors is listed on patents related to the use of inflammatory biomarkers in cardiovascular disease.

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