metabolic syndrome , useful diagnosis or not?

The BMJ has interesting debates on contentious topics and in the 22 March 2008 the question of the value of the diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome is discussed.
The International Diabetes Federatioi definition of the metabolic syndrome is
Presence of central obesity—Waist circumference varies with ethnicity.
If body mass index is >30 central obesity can be assumed
Plus any two of the following: Triglyceride concentration >1.7 mmol/l or receiving specific treatment for this lipid abnormality High density lipoprotein cholesterolSystolic blood pressure >130 mm Hg or diastolic >85 mmol/l, or treatment for hypertension
Fasting plasma glucose >5.6 mmol/l or previously diagnosed glucose type 2 diabetes. If >5.6 mmol/l, oral glucose tolerance test is strongly recommended but is not necessary to diagnose the syndrome
Two groups of experts are asked “Should we dump the metabolic syndrome ?
Professor Gale of Bristol argues whilst the diagnosis is a useful label but is too
imprecise fo clinical usage..
George Alberti and Dr Zimmet argue for its use and value in deciphering the multifactorial nature of the problem..
Gale, Alberti and Zimmet 2008, Should we dump the metabolic syndrome. BMJ vol 336
pp 640-641.

Martin Eastwood
Back to top