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cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, weight loss



  1. Cassells, Holly B. RNC, PhD
  2. Haffner, Steven M. MD


This article reviews the criteria for the metabolic syndrome with a focus on the 5 components of the National Cholesterol Education Program definition (increased waist circumference, increased triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased fasting glucose). Epidemiologic trends for the disorder and its prevalence are presented. The relation to cardiovascular disease and diabetes is discussed, as are findings from current studies explaining the risk factors. The article reviews the current recommendations for managing the metabolic syndrome including behavioral (weight reduction and increased physical activity) and pharmacological modalities. Relevant population-based studies and clinical trials are discussed with attention drawn to those clinical implications that are important for nurses to understand as they provide care to the growing population of clients expected to develop the metabolic syndrome.