Using structural equation model to illustrate the relationship between metabolic risk factors and cardiovascular complications in Taiwan

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Abstract

Background

The objective of this study was to perform a population-based screening programme to determine the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and the relationship between metabolic risk factors and prevalent cardiovascular complications in Taiwan.

Design

A screening programme recruited residents aged 40 years and older in Sanchih, Taipei County, Taiwan, and collected demographic data, blood and urine samples. Fasting plasma glucose level, serum total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride were measured. Atherosclerotic complications, including myocardial infarction, stress-positive angina, ischaemic stroke, and proteinuria were confirmed.

Methods

A structural equation model (SEM) was constructed to identify the association between metabolic abnormality and atherosclerosis.

Results

A total of 1494 subjects, 776 male and 718 female, were recruited in this study. The crude prevalence of the MetS was 19.3% for men [95% confidence interval (CI) 16.3–22.2%] and 18.7% for women (95% CI 15.6–22.0%). The presence of the MetS posed a substantial risk to microvascular complications in both sexes [odds ratio (OR) 3.29, P<0.001] and to macrovascular complications in men (OR 1.95, P=0.04) and also a trend in women (OR 2.24, P=0.089). There was a positive association between metabolic abnormality and atherosclerosis (B=0.55, P<0.001).

Conclusions

This study has found the prevalence of the MetS and the association with atherosclerotic complications in Taiwan. The SEM approach has demonstrated a positive correlation between metabolic abnormality and atherosclerosis and can be used to explore new risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

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