Does a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome have value in clinical practice?

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133 Scopus citations


"The metabolic syndrome" is the name for a clustering of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes that are of metabolic origin. These risk factors consist of atherogenic dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, elevated plasma glucose, a prothrombotic state, and a proinflammatory state. There are 2 major, interacting causes of the metabolic syndrome - obesity and endogenous metabolic susceptibility. The latter typically is manifested by insulin resistance. The metabolic syndrome is accompanied by a 2-fold increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease and a 5-fold increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes. A clinical diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome is useful because it affects therapeutic strategy in patients at higher risk. However, there are 2 views about the best therapeutic strategy for patients with the metabolic syndrome. One view holds that each of the metabolic risk factors should be singled out and treated separately. The other view holds that greater emphasis should be given to implementing therapies that will reduce all of the risk factors simultaneously. The latter approach emphasizes lifestyle therapies (weight reduction and increased exercise), which target all of the risk factors. This approach is also the foundation of other therapies for targeting multiple risk factors together by striking at the underlying causes, as in the development of drugs to promote weight reduction and to reduce insulin resistance. Treating the underlying causes does not rule out the management of individual risk factors, but it will add strength to the control of multiple risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1251
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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