Hypertension, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2004 Jun;33(2):417-29. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2004.03.007.


Impaired glucose homeostasis, hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high blood pressure, and central obesity tend to cluster in patients to generate a syndrome, the metabolic syndrome. In the adult population, the metabolic syndrome prevalence ranges between 15% and 25%. Poor fibrinolysis and low-grade inflammation also are associated with the metabolic syndrome,and they contribute to make it a condition that predisposes to cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance and attendant hyperinsulinemia are the characteristic features of the metabolic syndrome and probably are responsible for impairment in glucose homeostasis,dyslipidemia, and higher blood pressure through cause-and-effect relationships. While awaiting the results of clinical trials with cardiovascular endpoints, we should treat the metabolic syndrome with aggressive lifestyle intervention and consider drugs that improve the whole cardiovascular risk profile.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*