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Life Sci. 2003 Sep 26;73(19):2395-411.

A major health hazard: the metabolic syndrome.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Jakobstad Hospital, PB 23, 68601, Jakobstad, Finland.


The clustering of several metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk factors has been termed the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome seems to result from a collision between susceptible "thrifty genes" and a society characterized by an increased prevalence of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. The typical patient is characterized by abdominal obesity, a varying degree of glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia and often hypertension. The components of the metabolic syndrome are associated with insulin resistance, disturbances of coagulation and fibrinolysis, endothelial dysfunction and elevated markers of sub-clinical inflammation. The current review focuses mainly on the new definitions of the syndrome, the results of recent epidemiological studies and the consequences of the metabolic syndrome as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, premature death and diabetes. The metabolic syndrome constitutes a major challenge for public health professionals in the field of preventive medicine since more than 40 million U.S. adults seem to be affected by the syndrome. Lifestyle changes could have a profound influence on the syndrome and its development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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