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Herz. 2003 Dec;28(8):674-85.

[Arterial hypertension and metabolic syndrome].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Innere Medizin, Kardiologie, Angiologie, Intensivmedizin und Prävention, Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany.


BACKGROUND AND THERAPY: The metabolic syndrome comprises a virulent and lethal group of atherosclerotic risk factors, including dyslipidemia, obesity, systemic hypertension and insulin resistance. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome has continuously grown in industrialized and developing countries during the last decades, and affects tens of millions of people in Germany and Europe. Particularly prominent as a risk factor for the development of insulin resistance is central obesity, which is causally involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in addition to genetic predisposition. The metabolic syndrome can easily be diagnosed in clinical practice (guidelines of the WHO and ATP III panel), and immediate treatment of the metabolic syndrome is mandatory because those patients are at increased risk to develop overt diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease and stroke. The high risk for cardiovascular diseases is supported by findings that the risk for myocardial infarction in patients with insulin resistance is as high as the risk of patients after their first myocardial infarction. Intentional weight reduction reduces abdominal obesity and beneficially modulates all features of the metabolic syndrome, while the benefits of aerobic exercise training are discussed controversially. Thus, weight reduction causally undoes essential features of the metabolic syndrome, but effects are often not enduring. Therefore, the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and dislipidemia is essential. Of note, antihypertensive treatment is more effective than tight glucose control to reduce cardiovascular events. Diuretics, ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists are suggested as first line therapeutics. However, at least two antihypertensives are usually necessary to achieve the suggested goals of blood pressure reduction. In conclusion, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is continuously growing. Due to its adverse impact on cardiovascular disease, early detection and aggressive treatment is mandatory to ensure longlasting benefits for affected patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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