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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2002 Nov;4(6):514-21.

Insulin resistance, diabetes, and atherosclerosis: thiazolidinediones as therapeutic interventions.

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Cardiovascular Division/Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 221 Longwood Avenue, LMRC 307, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of metabolic abnormalities involving dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, and hypercoagulability, carries an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Although interventions targeting elements of this syndrome have dramatically reduced cardiovascular risk, the impact of glucose-lowering has been more disappointing. Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are a new class of insulin-sensitizing agents that activate the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-g. TZDs may improve not only glucose levels but also other metabolic parameters associated with insulin resistance. The TZD data are reviewed, with a focus on their potential cardiovascular effects.

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