Corticosteroids Linked to Increased Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Injection into knee
Injection into knee
Researchers found a correlation between use of corticosteroids and increased odds of metabolic syndrome and elevated body mass index.

HealthDay News — Use of corticosteroids (CS) is associated with increased odds of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and elevated body mass index (BMI), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held from April 1 to 4 in Orlando, Florida.

Mesut Savas, MD, from Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated the correlation between CS use and MetS and BMI in 140,879 participants from the Lifelines cohort study.

The researchers found that 10.9% of the study population was currently using CS. Compared with nonusers, CS users had higher odds of having MetS (odds ratio [OR], 1.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06 to 1.18; P<.001) and increased body mass index (+0.31 kg/m²; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.39; P<.001).

Markedly stronger associations were seen in women (MetS: OR, 1.21 [95%  CI, 1.12 to 1.31]; BMI: OR, +0.43 [95% CI, 0.32 to 0.54) vs men (MetS: OR, 0.98 [95% CI, 0.90 to 1.06]; BMI: OR, +0.04 [95% CI, −0.07 to 0.14]). The odds of MetS were increased for users of systemic (OR, 1.24 [95% CI, 1.01 to 1.53]) and only local (OR, 1.11 [95% CI, 1.05 to 1.17]) administration forms.

“We need studies that will follow corticosteroid users and nonusers over time and monitor for development of the metabolic syndrome,” Savas said in a statement.

Related Articles


Savas M, Wester VL, Muka T, et al. Associations between local corticosteriod use, metabolic syndrome, and body mass index in a large population-based cohort study: the lifelines cohort study. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, ENDO 2017, April 1 to 4 in Orlando, Florida.

follow @RheumAdvisor