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PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to evaluate the presence of the metabolic syndrome in COPD patients who participated in a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. The metabolic syndrome is characterized by the presence of abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, raised blood pressure, presence of insulin resistance, and prothrombotic and inflammatory states that predispose to cardiovascular diseases.

METHODS: Thirty-eight COPD patients (age: 66 /- 7 years, [mean /- SD], FEV1: 43 /- 16% predicted) and 34 control participants matched for age and gender are included in this study. The criteria for the identification of the metabolic syndrome include 3 or more of the following features: abdominal obesity (waist circumference: > 102 cm in men, > 88 cm in women), triglycerides levels (>= 1.69 mmol/L), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (< 1.0 mmol/L in men, < 1.3 mmol/L in women), blood pressure (>= 130/ >= 85 mm Hg), and fasting glucose levels (>= 6.1 mmol/L).

RESULTS: Forty-seven percent of COPD patients and 21% of control participants presented 3 or more determinants of the metabolic syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of metabolic syndrome is frequent in patients with COPD who participated in a cardiopulmonary program. Hence, this population should be considered for screening for the metabolic syndrome.

(C) 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.