Study: Elderly defy conventional wisdom when it comes to predicting cardiovascular disease

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Usually, people with metabolic syndrome are believed to be at heightened risk for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), but a recent study found that that's not the case among the elderly.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow analyzed the data from two different studies of over 7,500 non-diabetic elderly people. All were aged 60 to 82 from Scotland or England with symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Scots with metabolic syndrome were four times as likely to develop diabetes over three years, researchers learned. But the normal rates of CVD were unaffected. The English study subjects suffered a sevenfold increase in their risk of diabetes, compared to only a 27% uptick in rates of CVD.

The results are significant because they show that metabolic syndrome is not an accurate predictor of both CVD and diabetes in all people, as originally thought, report authors say. Results of the study were published Wednesday in the online version of the UK medical journal The Lancet.