What is the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome?

Updated: Mar 29, 2017
  • Author: Stanley S Wang, JD, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, FACC, FACP, MSCI  more...
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Answer

Target organ damage occurs through multiple mechanisms in metabolic syndrome. The individual diseases leading to metabolic syndrome produce adverse clinical consequences. For example, hypertension in metabolic syndrome causes left ventricular hypertrophy, progressive peripheral arterial disease, and renal dysfunction. [12] However, the cumulative risk for metabolic syndrome appears to cause microvascular dysfunction, which further amplifies insulin resistance and promotes hypertension. [13]

Metabolic syndrome promotes coronary heart disease through several mechanisms. It increases the thrombogenicity of circulating blood, in part by raising plasminogen activator type 1 and adipokine levels, and it causes endothelial dysfunction. [14] Metabolic syndrome may also increase cardiovascular risks by increasing arterial stiffness. [15] Additional mechanisms include oxidative stress, [16] which has been associated with numerous components of metabolic syndrome. [17]


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