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exercise, insulin resistance syndrome, metabolic syndrome, nursing care, nursing intervention, nursing research, obesity, outcomes



  1. Fletcher, Barbara MN, RN, FAAN
  2. Lamendola, Cindy MSN, ANP, FAHA


Insulin resistance syndrome, also referred to as the metabolic syndrome, affects 1 in 3 to 4 adults older than 20 years. This syndrome consists of a clustering of metabolic abnormalities that put people at risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These clinical abnormalities include dyslipidemia, specifically elevated triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, elevated glucose, and hypertension. The incidence of this morbid syndrome is expected to continue to grow both in the United States and worldwide, and thus is of tremendous interest to nurses seeking to measure their impact on patient outcomes. The key lifestyle interventions essential to treating this syndrome are weight loss and physical activity. The purpose of this article is to (1) describe the insulin resistance syndrome and discuss the current focuses for inquiry in major outcome areas (eg, mortality, morbidity, costs); (2) describe the status of specific lifestyle interventions (weight loss, diet, and exercise); (3) identify outcomes that nurses could measure to assess their impact on patient care; and (4) identify areas for future nursing research.