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The risk of carotid plaque instability in patients with metabolic syndrome is higher in women with hypertriglyceridemia

Francesca Servadei #  1 , Lucia Anemona #  1 , Marina Cardellini #  2 , Manuel Scimeca  1   3   4 , et al.

Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2021 May 6;20(1):98.doi: 10.1186/s12933-021-01277-8.

Background: Metabolic syndrome certainly favors growth of carotid plaque; however, it is uncertain if it determines plaque destabilization. Furthermore, it is likely that only some components of metabolic syndrome are associated with increased risk of plaque destabilization. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of different elements of metabolic syndrome, individually and in association, on carotid plaques destabilization. Methods: A total of 186 carotid endarterectomies from symptomatic and asymptomatic patients were histologically analysed and correlated with major cardiovascular risk factors. Results: Metabolic syndrome, regardless of the cluster of its components, is not associated with a significant increase in risk of plaque destabilization, rather with the presence of stable plaques. The incidence of unstable plaques in patients with metabolic syndrome is quite low (43.9 %), when compared with that seen in the presence of some risk factors, but significantly increases in the subgroup of female patients with hypertriglyceridemia, showing an odds ratio of 3.01 (95% CI, 0.25-36.30).

Conclusions: Our data may help to identify patients with real increased risk of acute cerebrovascular diseases thus supporting the hypothesis that the control of hypertriglyceridemia should be a key point on prevention of carotid atherosclerotic plaque destabilization, especially in post-menopausal female patients.