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Am J Ther. 2007 Jul-Aug;14(4):386-402.

Metabolic syndrome: treatment of hypertensive patients.

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Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Metabolic syndrome (MetSyndr), a constellation of abnormalities [obesity, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance (IR), dyslipidemia (low HDL-cholesterol, high LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides (TG)], and elevated blood pressure (BP)], increases the risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease and premature death. From 10% to 30% of the adult population in industrialized countries has MetSyndr, which effectively predicts the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) and CV disease. Because of the complex etiology of MetSyndr, a multi-targeted, integrated therapeutic approach is required to simultaneously treat high BP, obesity, lipid disorders and T2D (if present), to fully protect CV, cerebrovascular and renal systems. If lifestyle modification (weight control, diet, exercise, smoking cessation, moderation of alcohol intake) is ineffective, pharmaco-theraphy should be added to treat simultaneously the lipid- and non-lipid CV risk factors. Patients with HTN and MetSyndr should be started on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, unless contraindicated. The ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) reduce the odds of developing new onset T2D and also decrease albuminuria. The ACE inhibitors provide cardioprotective and renoprotective benefits beyond their effect on BP; they also improve IR. The ARBs are renoprotective in addition to being cardioprotective. Long-acting calcium channel blockers are also recommended in hypertensive patients with MetSyndr; these drugs also improve IR. Thiazides (at low doses) and selected ss-blockers can be given to patients with HTN and MetSyndr. Celiprolol in combination with diuretics has a favorable effect on glucose tolerance and IR in patients with HTN and MetSyndr, and spironolactone added to ACE inhibitor or ARB therapy provides additional reno- and CV protective benefits in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Carvedilol, a ss-blocker with vasodilating properties, added to ACE inhibitor or ARB therapy, is effective in preventing worsening of microalbuminuria in patients with HTN and MetSyndr; it also improves IR and glycemic control. Most patients eventually require two or more antihypertensive drugs to reach BP goal. It is recommended that therapy in patients whose BP is more than 20/10 mm Hg above target at diagnosis be initiated with a combination of antihypertensive drugs, administered either as individual drugs or as fixed-dose formulations. Treatment with fixed-dose combinations, such as irbesartan + hydrochlorothiazide provides good BP control in more than two-thirds of hypertensive patients with MetSyndr. Lipid and BP targets are reached in a high percent of patients with HTN and CV disease treated with a combination of amlodipine + atorvastatin. In conclusion, hypertensive patients with the MetSyndr be treated aggressively for each component of the syndrome to provide CV, cerebrovascular and renal protection.

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