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Obesity, Hypertensionn, & the Metabolic Syndrome X

Obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2) is an increasingly prevalent risk factor for the development of hypertension and CVD. Intensive lifestyle modification should be pursued in all individuals with the metabolic syndrome, and appropriate drug therapy should be instituted for each of its components as indicated.

What is Metabolic Syndrome X?

Metabolic syndrome X is a cluster of metabolic disorders that are primarily driven by insulin resistance. The Adult Treatment Panel III guideline for cholesterol management defines the metabolic syndrome as the presence of three or more of the following conditions:

  • abdominal obesity (waist circumference >40 inches in men or >35 inches in women)
  • glucose intolerance (fasting glucose >110 mg/dL)
  • blood pressure >130/85 mmHg
  • high triglycerides (>150 mg/dL)
  • low HDL (<40 mg/dL in men or <50 mg/dL in women)

Metabolic syndrome x increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. High blood pressure is generally present in more than 50% of patients with metabolic syndrome x. Studies have suggested that successfully treating the hypertension portion of metabolic syndrome x significantly reduces the risk of death and heart disease.


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