Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 201-208

Genetics of metabolic syndrome: Is there a role for phenomics?

  • Tisha Joy
  • , Robert A. HegeleAffiliated withRobarts Research Institute Email author 

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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a common complex trait consisting of the clustering of abdominal obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and dysglycemia. MetS is found in about 25% of the population in the United States and is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Despite research into possible genetic influences for MetS, no consistently reproducible genetic markers have been obtained, partially due to lack of agreement on the definition of the phenotype. Because phenotypic precision is essential for genomic interrogation, the evolving discipline of clinical phenomics, which uses objective and systematic acquisition of phenotypic data (ie, “deep phenotyping”), may help evaluate the genetic influences of MetS. This article reviews evidence that MetS has a genetic component and the potential applicability of clinical phenomics for the genetic evaluation of MetS using the example of hierarchical cluster analysis of phenotypic components of lipodystrophy syndromes, which serve as monogenic models of MetS.