Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



J Korean Soc Study Obes 2004; 13(3): 179-186

Published online March 1, 2004

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Relationship Between White Blood Cell Counts and the Metabolic Syndrome

Go Eun Lee,Hye Soon Park

Department of Family Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine


Background: Increased WBC counts have been associated with inflammatory condition. Recently, many studies have shown that obesity and the metabolic syndrome is associated with low-grade systemic inflammation. This study was attempted to illustrate the relationship between WBC counts and the metabolic syndrome among Korean.
Methods: The subjects included 6,542 adults (males 3,833, females 2,676). We excluded acute ill patients and cancer patients among them, finally 6,514 adults were examined. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between WBC counts and the metabolic syndrome with an adjustment for age and sex.
Results: 1) As WBC counts increased, the values of body mass index and cardiovascular risk factors were increased significantly. 2) The odds ratio for elevated WBC counts (≥6.7×103/mm3) increased significantly in the subjects with each components of the metabolic syndrome compared to the subjects without them. 3) The odds ratio for the metabolic syndrome increased linearly as 1.57 (1.27∼1.94), 2.29 (1.85∼2.83), and 3.03 (2.51∼3.74) according to the quartile of WBC count level. 4) As body mass index and clustering of components of metabolic syndrome increased, WBC counts increased significantly.
Conclusion: Increased WBC counts were significantly associated with body mass index and the metabolic syndrome among Korean. Management of obesity and the metabolic syndrome might be important to reduce inflammation.

Keywords: White blood cell counts, Obesity, Metabolic syndrome