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The metabolic vascular syndrome - guide to an individualized treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Markolf Hanefeld, Frank Pistrosch, Stefan R Bornstein, Andreas L Birkenfeld

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalReviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders
Issue number1
PublishedMar 2016

King's Authors


In ancient Greek medicine the concept of a distinct syndrome (going together) was used to label 'a group of signs and symptoms' that occur together and 'characterize a particular abnormality and condition'. The (dys)metabolic syndrome is a common cluster of five pre-morbid metabolic-vascular risk factors or diseases associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity, fatty liver disease and risk of cancer. The risk for major complications such as cardiovascular diseases, NASH and some cancers develops along a continuum of risk factors into clinical diseases. Therefore we still include hyperglycemia, visceral obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension as diagnostic traits in the definition according to the term 'deadly quartet'. From the beginning elevated blood pressure and hyperglycemia were core traits of the metabolic syndrome associated with endothelial dysfunction and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus metabolic and vascular abnormalities are in extricable linked. Therefore it seems reasonable to extend the term to metabolic-vascular syndrome (MVS) to signal the clinical relevance and related risk of multimorbidity. This has important implications for integrated diagnostics and therapeutic approach. According to the definition of a syndrome the rapid global rise in the prevalence of all traits and comorbidities of the MVS is mainly caused by rapid changes in life-style and sociocultural transition resp. with over- and malnutrition, low physical activity and social stress as a common soil.

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