Purpose of review: The metabolic syndrome is a constellation of physical and laboratory abnormalities including hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and abdominal obesity. Over the past decade, the metabolic syndrome has emerged as a critically important risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Recent findings: A large population-based cross-sectional analysis (the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey III) found that the presence of the metabolic syndrome was associated with chronic kidney disease, defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate of less than 60 ml/min per 1.73 m and was also associated with proteinuria. More recently, a prospective cohort study found that the presence of the metabolic syndrome was associated with incident chronic kidney disease by the same definition, even when excluding individuals with diabetes mellitus and hypertension. More studies are required to determine whether the relationship between the metabolic syndrome and chronic kidney disease is mainly mediated by hyperglycemia (with insulin resistance) and hypertension, or other metabolic or hemodynamic factors.
Summary: The metabolic syndrome is associated with chronic kidney disease. Efforts aimed at determining the mechanisms underlying this association and strategies for the prevention of chronic kidney disease (or slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease) in affected patients should be research priorities in the future.