OBJECTIVE: To measure the association between cardiac structure and function abnormalities and isolated metabolic syndrome (metabolic syndrome excluding established hypertension or diabetes mellitus). PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: We collected data prospectively on a population-based random sample of 2042 Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents aged 45 years or older who underwent echocardiography between January 1, 1997, and September 30, 2000. Metabolic syndrome was defined by National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. RESULTS: The prevalence of isolated metabolic syndrome was 21.7% (214/984) in men and 16.7% (177/1058) in women. Left ventricular (LV) mass index was greater (91.7 vs 87.9 g/m2; P=.04) and LV diastolic dysfunction more prevalent (28.2% [50/177] vs 14.9% [81/544]; P<.001) in women with isolated metabolic syndrome than in women without metabolic syndrome; no difference was found in men. When patients with hypertension or diabetes mellitus were included in the cohort, there was a stepwise increase in LV mass index and LV diastolic dysfunction from no metabolic syndrome to isolated metabolic syndrome to metabolic syndrome in women and men. CONCLUSION: Isolated metabolic syndrome, which is associated with increased LV mass index and LV diastolic dysfunction in women, identifies women with evidence of early ventricular dysfunction.
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