Metabolic Syndrome Pathophysiology and Clinical Presentation

Toxicol Pathol. 2009 Jan;37(1):18-20. doi: 10.1177/0192623308329288. Epub 2008 Dec 19.


Metabolic syndrome is a relatively new definition, designed to help the health care practitioner to easily identify people at risk for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. With the obesity epidemic, we are witnessing an epidemic of multiple-risk patients. Insulin resistance is the perceived pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and defines its clinical presentation. Hypertension, dyslipedemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fatty liver disease, pre-diabetes, sleep and breathing disorder, certain cancers, and cognitive impairment are many of the presentations of the syndrome; patients with any of these conditions are at a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The metabolic syndrome helps identify people at risk to allow early intervention for prevention. Lifestyle modification is the most important part of the management of people with the syndrome. Lately medications--though none approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)--have been recommended by major medical societies when lifestyle modification is not enough or when it fails.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Dyslipidemias
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior