The IDF consensus worldwide definiton of the
The metabolic syndrome - a new worldwide definition
The metabolic syndrome (visceral obesity, dyslipidaemia, hyperglycaemia and hypertension), has become one of the major public-health challenges worldwide. There has been growing interest in this constellation of closely related cardiovascular risk factors.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) felt there was a strong need for one practical definition that would be useful in any country for the identification of people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, but also diabetes. This definition would also allow comparative long-term studies, which could then be used, if necessary, to refine the definition on the basis of solid endpoints. With current metabolic syndrome definitions, particulary Adult Treatment Panel III, suspiciously low prevelence figures in Asian populations resulted, suggesting the need for ethnic-specific cutoffs, at least for obesity.
As a result, an IDF consensus group met in 2004, with representatives from the organisations that had generated the previous definitions and members from all IDF regions.
The IDF has produced a new definition for use both epidemiologically and in clinical practice worldwide with the aim of identifying people with the metabolic syndrome to clarify the nature of the syndrome and to focus therapeutic strategies to reduce the long term risk of cardiovascular disease. Guidance is included on how to compensate for differences in waist circumference and in regional adipose tissue distribution between different populations. The IDF has also produced recommendations for additional criteria that should be included when studying the metabolic syndrome for research purposes. Finally, the IDF has identified areas where more studies are currently needed; these include research into the aetiology of the syndrome.
Paul Zimmet AO (Order of Australia)
Sir George Alberti KB
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