The metabolic syndrome (MetS) represents the co-occurrence of insulin resistance, hypertension, central adiposity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, and a pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic state. Patients with this syndrome are at increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Epidemiologic studies reveal a prevalence of the MetS that increases with age and obesity. Patients with the MetS should be recognized as being at high risk for cardiovascular complications. Ongoing research focuses on the underlying pathophysiology of this disorder and the use of drug therapy to directly target insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction. Currently, the standard of care includes active identification and aggressive management of traditional cardiovascular risk factors with an emphasis on healthy lifestyle changes to reduce weight and increase physical fitness.
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