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Hypertriglyceridemia, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome

  • Scott M Grundy
    Correspondence
    Address for reprints: Scott M. Grundy, MD, PhD, Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75235-9052
    Affiliations
    Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas, Dallas, Texas, USA
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      Abstract

      The metabolic syndrome consists of a cluster of metabolic disorders, many of which promote the development of atherosclerosis and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease events. Insulin resistance may lie at the heart of the metabolic syndrome. Elevated serum triglycerides commonly associate with insulin resistance and represent a valuable clinical marker of the metabolic syndrome. Abdominal obesity is a clinical marker for insulin resistance. The metabolic syndrome manifests 4 categories of abnormality: atherogenic dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides, increased small low-density lipoproteins, and decreased high-density lipoproteins), increased blood pressure, elevated plasma glucose, and a prothrombotic state. Various therapeutic approaches for the patient with the metabolic syndrome should be implemented to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease events. These interventions include decreasing obesity, increasing physical activity, and managing dyslipidemia; the latter may require the use of pharmacotherapy with cholesterol-lowering and triglyceride-lowering drugs.
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