Role of stress in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2005 Jan;30(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2004.05.007.


Excess body fat, obesity, is one of the most common disorders in clinical practice. In addition, there is a clustering of several risk factors with obesity, including hypertension, glucose intolerance, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia, which is observed more frequently than by chance alone. This has led to the suggestion that these represent a single syndrome and is referred to as the Metabolic Syndrome. A growing body of evidence suggests that glucocorticoid secretion is associated with this complex phenotype. Continuously changing and sometimes threatening external environment may, when the challenge exceeds a threshold, activate central pathways that stimulate the adrenals to release glucocorticoids. In this review, we will discuss how such processes mediate a pathogenetic role in the Metabolic Syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / genetics
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology