The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a recently defined clustering of cardiovascular risk factors associated with increased insulin resistance and a high risk of developing type II diabetes mellitus. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with an increased prevalence of the MetS and patients also show evidence of increased insulin resistance. Controversy remains, however, regarding the precise definition of the MetS and its exact role in predicting long-term coronary heart disease risk both in SLE and in the general population. The major benefit of identifying the MetS in patients with SLE is likely to be from highlighting patients for focused lifestyle interventions and helping to guide individualized therapeutic regimes that take into account cardiovascular risk.
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