Insulin resistance as the underlying cause for the metabolic syndrome

Med Clin North Am. 2007 Nov;91(6):1063-77, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2007.06.012.


Classically, the metabolic syndrome is characterized as group of pathologies including visceral obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and impaired glucose tolerance. It is now realized that insulin resistance plays a principal role in initiating and perpetuating the pathologic manifestations of the metabolic syndrome. A more in-depth understanding of the basic pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying insulin resistance may aid clinicians in treating and possibly delaying or even preventing the onset of the metabolic syndrome and its complications. This article outlines how abnormal insulin signaling and secretion, impaired glucose disposal, lipotoxicity, and proinflammatory cytokines exacerbate insulin resistance and result in the perturbations of the metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin