, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 1-11
Date: 17 Oct 2008

The therapeutic modulation of atherogenic dyslipidemia and inflammatory markers in the metabolic syndrome: what is the clinical relevance?


The metabolic syndrome consists of a constellation of clinical and biochemical risk factors that cluster together and heighten the risk for atherogenesis, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Established risk cardiovascular factors like hypertension, atherogenic dyslipidaemia, and glucose intolerance occur in the setting of insulin resistance and central adiposity, with genetic and environmental influences modulating the ultimate risk. Chronic insults to the endothelium take its toll in the form of silent as well as clinically evident cardiovascular events. The cellular and vascular accompaniments have shed some light into the underlying pathophysiology. Heightened, low-grade inflammatory processes as well as a continuum of vascular insults ranging from early endothelial derangements to advanced atherosclerosis have been examined. In recent years there has been an explosion of basic and clinical knowledge related to the metabolic syndrome. Although dyslipidaemia is considered a traditional risk component for the syndrome, its qualitative aspects, genetically determined subfractions, and variation in proatherogenic tendency have generated renewed interest and debate. New targets within the dyslipidaemic spectrum that have differing clinical relevance are being evaluated. The effect of heredity, lifestyle changes, pharmacotherapeutic agents, and supplements is being investigated. Further research into the impact of dyslipidemia and inflammation as both pathophysiologic risk factors and objects for targeted therapy in the metabolic syndrome should deepen our understanding and unravel answers to the underlying dynamics in this global epidemic.