The Metabolic Syndrome: Concepts and Controversy

Johnson, Lewis W.; Weinstock, Ruth S.
December 2006
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Dec2006, Vol. 81 Issue 12, p1615
Academic Journal
The metabolic syndrome is an insulin-resistant state characterized by a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors, including various combinations of abdominal obesity, glucose intolerance, hypertension, and atherogenic dyslipidemia (elevated triglyceride values, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and small dense low-density lipoprotein cholesterol particles). The current epidemic of obesity and physical inactivity has led to an increased prevalence of this disorder. In this review, we discuss the history and pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome, the controversy regarding the appropriateness of considering it a distinct diagnosis, and the importance of lifestyle modification in its prevention and treatment. The need for all cardiovascular risk factors to be treated, whether or not they are components of the metabolic syndrome, is emphasized. Recent discussions in the literature regarding the continued use of the term metabolic syndrome should be considered a healthy academic debate that hopefully will stimulate ideas and innovative research to improve patient care.


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