Many Heart Attack Patients Have Metabolic Syndrome

Risk factors include wide waistlines, hypertension and high blood sugar, study finds

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WEDNESDAY, May 25, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 50 percent of heart attack patients have a constellation of common risk factors known as "metabolic syndrome," putting them at increased risk for heart failure, French researchers report.

Reporting in the May 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers documented the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in 633 people hospitalized after a heart attack. Those diagnosed with metabolic syndrome met three of five criteria: high blood pressure; high blood glucose level; high blood triglyceride levels; low HDL ("good") cholesterol levels; and a waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women.

Overall, 46 percent (290) of the patients had metabolic syndrome, said the researchers at the University of Burgundy, in Dijon. These patients tended to be older, were more likely to be women and had a higher number of cardiovascular risk factors, including previous history of heart attack, than those without metabolic syndrome.

Patients with metabolic syndrome were also more likely to have worse in-hospital outcomes and heart failure, the researchers added. High blood sugar levels are especially associated with heart failure, the scientists noted.

"Our study showed the high prevalence of metabolic syndrome among patients with [heart attack] and highlights the detrimental impact of metabolic syndrome on short-term outcomes, particularly heart failure," the study authors wrote.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about metabolic syndrome.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, May 23, 2005

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