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Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2007 May;5(3):491-506.

Treating the metabolic syndrome.

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University of Pisa, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Cisanello University Hospital, Pisa, Italy.


The metabolic syndrome (MS), a cluster of metabolic abnormalities with insulin resistance as its central component, is increasing in prevalence and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Current evidence supports an aggressive intervention approach that comprises lifestyle modification in conjunction with drug treatment of the MS components. Healthier eating and regular exercise greatly reduce waistline and body mass index, lower blood pressure and improve lipid profile. Lifestyle modification has been proven to prevent T2DM development. Nevertheless, appropriate treatment of MS components often requires pharmacologic intervention with insulin-sensitizing agents, such as metformin and thiazolidinediones, while statins and fibrates, or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers are the first-line lipid-modifying or antihypertensive drugs. Only severely obese patients require specific drug treatments. Very often, drug combinations will be necessary to manage multiple risk factors. As we progress in the understanding of the pathophysiology of the MS, new targets for therapies will probably be identified and new treatments will prove to be even more efficacious than those currently available for the management of this life-threatening condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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