This study aims to determine the association between auricular signals and the risk factors of metabolic syndrome (MS). Methods:
A case-control study with an equal number of cases and controls matched by age group and gender was conducted. A total of 204 participants were recruited. Patients were verified as having MS based on the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Auricular assessment was conducted in the following sequence: visual inspection, electrical skin resistance test (ESRT), and pressure pain test (PPT). Results:
MS+ patients tend to have much more oily auricle complexion than the controls. The ‘endocrine’ (right) of the participants with MS indicated a significantly higher electrical conductivity compared to that of the controls. The MS group participants experienced significant tenderness on the ‘heart’ and ‘endocrine’ acupoints. A number of auricular signals were also associated with the risk factors of MS, including age, gender, smoking status, family history of diabetes, and comorbid illnesses. Both the ‘heart’ and ‘endocrine’ acupoints showed the highest sensitivity to tenderness (60.8%), followed by the ‘endocrine’ (59.8%) and ‘pancreas and gallbladder’ (55.9%). Conclusions
: The results of this study suggest that electrical conductivity and tenderness of a number of auricular points, including the ‘heart’, ‘pancreas and gall bladder’, and ‘endocrine’, are associated with MS and its risk factors. Further investigations with a larger sample size could be conducted to verify the value of these auricular signals on MS risk prediction so that this method can be used as an early screening method for the population with a high MS risk.
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