Metabolic Syndrome: Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes

FP Essent. 2015 Aug;435:11-6.


Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that synergistically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature mortality. The components are abdominal obesity, impaired glucose metabolism, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Prediabetes, which is a combination of excess body fat and insulin resistance, is considered an underlying etiology of metabolic syndrome. Prediabetes manifests as impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance. Impaired fasting glucose is defined as a fasting blood glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL; impaired glucose tolerance requires a blood glucose level of 140 to 199 mg/dL 2 hours after a 75-g oral intake of glucose. In patients with prediabetes, the rate of progression to diabetes within 3 years can be decreased by approximately 58% with lifestyle modifications. These include weight loss through exercise (30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week) and dietary modifications. Recommended diets are high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Consumption of sweetened beverages, including diet soda, should be avoided. For patients who do not achieve goals with lifestyle modifications, metformin can be considered. Weight loss drugs and bariatric surgery are appropriate for select patients. Hypertension and dyslipidemia should be managed according to current guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / therapy*
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Prediabetic State / complications
  • Prediabetic State / diagnosis
  • Prediabetic State / therapy*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Weight Reduction Programs


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin