Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Higher Risk for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Female doctor checks heartbeat of a senior man
Researchers examined the association and related outcomes of metabolic syndrome among patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Metabolic syndrome was found to be associated with a higher risk for developing pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) but did not affect in-hospital mortality, length of stay (LOS), or complications, according to study results presented at the National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions, from June 2nd through 5th, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

For the study, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of the 2016 to 2018 Nationwide Inpatient Sample for patients chosen with the appropriate ICD-10 diagnosis code. Recognizing that the effect of metabolic syndrome on the pulmonary arterial system has yet to be elucidated, the researchers sought to identify the outcomes among patients with metabolic syndrome and PAH.

A total of 90,902,481 patients were hospitalized during the study period. Overall, the sample included 0.17% (150,095 of 90,902,481) of participants with metabolic syndrome and 99.83% (90,752,386 of 90,902,481) of those without metabolic syndrome.

Patients who had metabolic syndrome compared with those without tended to have obesity (64.0% vs 16.5%, respectively), hypertension (46.1% vs 34.4%, respectively), and diabetes (58.5% vs 26.4%, respectively). The mean age of the 2 groups was similar (57.7±0.09 vs 57.9±0.005 years, respectively). Overall, 53.1% of those with metabolic syndrome and 57.8% of those without metabolic syndrome were men.

Following adjustment for sex, age, and burden of comorbidities, the presence of metabolic syndrome was associated with a significantly increased risk for PAH (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-2.8; P =.006). Further, among individuals who developed PAH, metabolic syndrome was linked to a significantly higher risk for major adverse cardiac events (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.0-12.5; P =.04).

In contrast, in-hospital mortality (P =.9), LOS (P =.4), acute coronary syndrome (P =.1), acute respiratory failure (P =.6), and acute heart failure (P =.8) were all not statistically significantly affected by the presence of metabolic syndrome in patients with PAH.

“Further studies are needed to explicate the association of metabolic syndrome and PAH as well as to develop potentially effective therapies,” the study authors wrote.


Aung P, Park K, Konindala N, Nge H. Association between metabolic syndrome and  pulmonary arterial hypertension. Presented at: National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions; June 2-5, 2022; Scottsdale, AZ. Poster 61.

This article originally appeared on The Cardiology Advisor