Metabolic Syndrome Overview
The term metabolic syndrome is well recognized in the medical literature and in the lay press as well. Metabolic syndrome (also referred to as syndrome X or dysmetabolic syndrome) refers to an association between certain metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease. While the criteria for the diagnosis vary, the concept of a clustering of risks factors that lead to cardiovascular disease is well accepted.
The main characteristics of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), abnormalities in cholesterol levels, and an increased risk for blood clotting. Most people with metabolic syndrome are overweight or obese.
Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin. Because of the central role that insulin resistance plays in metabolic syndrome, a separate article is devoted to insulin resistance.
The most widely accepted definition of metabolic syndrome is based on the guidelines from the 2001 National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III).
Any three of the following traits in the same individual meet the criteria for the metabolic syndrome:
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