Purpose: This article provides a brief overview of the diagnostic criteria and genomic risk factors for the components of metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Organizing Constructs: Contributions of cardiovascular, obesity, and diabetes genomic risk factors to the development of MetS as reported in the literature have been reviewed.
Findings: The genomic risk factors for the development of MetS are strongly linked to the genomic risk factors that make up the components of the disease. Many of the cardiovascular and renal genomic risk factors for MetS development are similar to those found in the development of hypertension and dyslipidemia. Obesity may act as a master trigger to turn on the gene expression changes necessary for the other components of the disease. Studies in the genomics of type 2 diabetes show a number of overlapping genes and polymorphisms that influence both the development of diabetes and MetS.
Conclusions: Although health practitioners now have some insights into the genomics of risk factors associated with MetS, the overall understanding of MetS remains inadequate. Clinical applications based on some of the discussed genomic risk factors are being developed but are not yet available for the diagnosis and treatment of MetS.
Clinical Relevance: A broad knowledge of the genomic contributions to disease processes will enable the clinician to better utilize genomics to assess and tailor management of patients.