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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2006 June;97(3):219-29

language: English

Metabolic syndrome

Vitale C., Marazzi G., Volterrani M., Aloisio A., Rosano G., Fini M.

Department of Medical Sciences IRCCS San Raffaele, Rome, Italy


Metabolic and non metabolic cardiovascular risk factors tend to cluster in the same individual. The association of the cardiovascular risk factors is referred as metabolic syndrome (MS). This syndrome is associated with an increased risk of accelerated atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. The cluster of cardiovascular risk factors of the MS includes: insulin resistance with or without glucose intolerance or diabetes, abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, a proinflammatory and prothrombotic state. MS is one of the major issues in the management of cardiovascular disease because of its epidemic proportion and its impact on increasing risk of developing both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The main therapeutic goal in the management of patients with the MS is to reduce risk for clinical cardiovascular events and to prevent type 2 diabetes. In particular, for individuals with established diabetes, risk factors management must be intensified to reduce their higher cardiovascular risk. Lifestyle changes have a critical role in the clinical management of the risk factors predisposing to MS, such as overweight/obesity, physical inactivity. A large body of evidence suggests the use of Metformin and Acarbose for the treatment of the syndrome as these drugs have consistently shown to reduce cardiovascular events and mortality. Most anti-hypertensive drugs have unfavorable metabolic profile while β-blockers, centrally acting agents and drugs targeting the renin angiotensin system should always be considered for the treatment of hypertension in patients with MS.

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