Factor analysis of the metabolic syndrome: obesity vs insulin resistance as the central abnormality

International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity
P J AndersonB Tomlinson


To evaluate whether there is one central abnormality contributing to the conditions associated with the metabolic syndrome (MES), or whether one abnormality is contributing on multiple levels. We recruited 145 Chinese subjects aged 17-68 y with varying degrees of insulin-sensitivity (IS): 33 healthy, 59 with type 2 diabetes mellitus, 32 essential hypertensives and 21 dyslipidaemics. IS was evaluated by the short insulin sensitivity test using a 0.1 U/kg intravenous bolus dose of insulin. Blood pressure, anthropometric measures and biochemical parameters associated with IS were also measured. Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were performed in the entire group of 145 subjects and in the 76 with normal glucose tolerance. EFA in all 145 subjects defined three distinct, independent factors. Factor 1 was interpreted as general and central adiposity, impaired IS and glucose intolerance, Factor 2 was associated with hypertension and general and central obesity, whilst Factor 3 was strongly related to low HDL-cholesterol and high triglyceride concentrations and weakly to waist circumference. In patients with impaired glucose tolerance, only two factors were identified; factor 1 related to reduced IS, impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipi...Continue Reading


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