The metabolic syndrome: time to get off the merry-go-round?


Gerald M. Reaven, MD, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Falk CVRD, Stanford Medical Center, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
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Abstract.  Reaven GM (Stanford University School of Medicine). The metabolic syndrome: time to get off the merry-go-round? (Review) J Intern Med 2011; 269: 127–136.

The diagnostic category of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) has received considerable attention over the last decade, and prestigious organizations continue to strive for its incorporation into medical practice. This review has three goals: (i) summarize the history of the several attempts to define a diagnostic category designated as the MetS; (ii) question the aetiological role of abdominal obesity in the development of the other components of the MetS; and (iii) evaluate a diagnosis of the MetS as an effective way to identify apparently healthy individuals at increased risk to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) or type 2 diabetes (2DM). The most important conclusion is that the MetS seems to be less effective in this population than the Framingham Risk Score in predicting CVD, and no better, if not worse, than fasting plasma glucose concentrations in predicting 2DM.