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Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan;16(1):72-80. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.91195.

Metabolic syndrome in the Mediterranean region: Current status.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Hippokration Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece.


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities including abdominal obesity, impaired fasting glucose, hypertension and dyslipidemia. It seems to affect about one-fourth to one-fifth of the Mediterranean population, and its prevalence increases with age, being similar for both sexes and depending on the region and the definition used, with the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel-III (NCEP-ATPIII) definition being the most effective in the identification of glucose intolerance and cardiovascular risk. Except for these, MetS is associated with fatty liver disease, some forms of cancer, hypogonadism, and vascular dementia. The Mediterranean diet seems to be an ideal diet in patients with MetS, being rich in fibre, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and low in animal protein; and decreases the prevalence of MetS and cardiovascular disease risk. Except for weight loss, multifactorial intervention including insulin resistance reduction and normoglycemia, management of dyslipidemia, optimizing blood pressure and administration of low-dose aspirin for patients at high or moderately high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk are additional targets. The present review provides current understanding about MetS in the Mediterranean region, focusing on its prevalence, clinical significance, and therapeutic strategy.


Dyslipidemia; Mediterranean diet; Mediterranean region; impaired glucose tolerance; metabolic syndrome

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