ORIGINAL RESEARCH—ENDOCRINOLOGY: A Comparison of NCEP-ATPIII and IDF Metabolic Syndrome Definitions with Relation to Metabolic Syndrome-Associated Sexual Dysfunction


Mario Maggi, MD, Andrology Unit, Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence, V.le G. Pieraccini, 6, 50139 Florence, Italy. Tel: +39 0554271415; Fax: +39 0554271413; E-mail: m.maggi@dfc.unifi.it


Introduction.  Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, often associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) and hypogonadism. Recently, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) proposed a substantial revision of the National Cholesterol Education Program–Third Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATPIII) MetS criteria, essentially lowering the diagnostic cutoff values.

Aim.  To investigate the associations between these two recently proposed definitions of MetS with the relative risk of arteriogenic ED and hypogonadism in a large cohort of patients with male sexual dysfunction.

Methods.  A consecutive series of 1086 patients with sexual dysfunction (mean age 51.9 ± 12.8 years) was studied.

Main Outcome Measures.  Several hormonal, biochemical, and instrumental (penile Doppler ultrasound) parameters were studied, along with ANDROTEST, a 12-item validated structured interview, specifically designed for the screening hypogonadism in a sexual dysfunction population. In particular, a score >8 is predictive of low testosterone (<10.4 nmol/L) with a sensitivity and specificity of about 70%.

Results.  The prevalence of MetS was 32.0% and 44.7% according to NCEP-ATPIII and IDF criteria, respectively. After adjustment for confounding factors, only NCEP-ATPIII was significantly associated with dynamic prostaglandin E1-stimulated penile flow (Vpmax, B = −7.7 ± 3.8; P < 0.05). Patients with MetS defined according to both criteria reported lower total and free testosterone levels, higher prevalence of hypogonadism, and higher ANDROTEST score. However, when IDF, but not NCEP-ATPIII, criteria were fulfilled, the prevalence of hypogonadism was significantly lower than that observed in patients fulfilling both criteria (15.6% vs. 34.8%, respectively; P < 0.00001). Conversely, patients fulfilling NCEP-ATPIII, but not IDF, criteria did not show a significant different prevalence of hypogonadism than those positive for both sets of criteria (30.8% vs. 34.8%; P = NS).

Conclusions.  In patients with ED, NCEP-ATPIII criteria seem to be a better predictor of hypogonadism and impaired penile blood flow than IDF ones. Corona G, Mannucci E, Petrone L, Schulman C, Balercia G, Fisher AD, Chiarini V, Forti G, and Maggi M. A comparison of NCEP-ATPIII and IDF metabolic syndrome definitions with relation to metabolic syndrome-associated sexual dysfunction. J Sex Med 2007;4:789–796.