Risk indicators of metabolic syndrome in young adults: A preliminary investigation on the influence of tobacco smoke exposure and gender

Elizabeth J. Corwin, Colleen S. McCoy, Courtney A. Whetzel, Rachel M. Ceballos, Laura Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome is characterized by hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and obesity. Limited investigations have studied early indicators of metabolic syndrome in healthy young adults before diagnosis of disease. PURPOSE: The purpose of this investigation is to identify shifts in cardiovascular (CV), metabolic, and immune variables consistent with metabolic syndrome but occurring before development of the disorder, and to determine whether these variables are influenced by gender or cigarette smoking. METHODS: A pilot study of 41 subjects ages 18 to 39 years, with 20 smokers and 21 nonsmokers, was undertaken. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured to evaluate CV status; cholesterol, body mass index, leptin, percent glycated albumin, and homocysteine were measured to evaluate metabolic status; C-reactive protein, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-10 were measured to evaluate immunologic status. Risk scores were assigned to each indicator, and total risk score was computed. RESULTS: Men had higher SBP (P < .001), DBP (P = .046), and body mass index (P = .01), whereas women had higher leptin (P = .002). Total risk scores in men were greater (P = .02). There was no effect of smoking on risk score, related to the increase in two risks for smokers (SBP, P = .04, DBP; P = .027) reciprocated by a decrease in another (percentage of glycated albumin; P = .02). CONCLUSION: Risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome are present and highest in young men compared with women, whereas the effects of cigarette smoking on the syndrome are mixed. Early intervention to reduce modifiable risks may prevent full expression of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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