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Metabolic syndrome: an update on diagnostic criteria, pathogenesis, and genetic links

Abstract

Metabolic syndrome (MetS), today a major global public health problem, is a cluster of clinical, metabolic, and biochemical abnormalities, such as central adiposity, hypertension, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemias. These MetS-related traits significantly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, adverse cardiac events, stroke, and hepatic steatosis. The pathogenesis of MetS is multifactorial, with the interplay of environmental, nutritional, and genetic factors. Chronic low-grade inflammation together with visceral adipose tissue, adipocyte dysfunction, and insulin resistance plays a major role in the progression of the syndrome by impairing lipid and glucose homeostasis in insulin-sensitive tissues, such as the liver, muscle, and adipocytes. Adipose-derived inflammatory cytokines and non-esterified fatty acids establish the link between central obesity IR, inflammation, and atherogenesis. Various studies have reported an association between MetS and related traits with single-nucleotide polymorphisms of different susceptibility genes. Modulation of cytokine levels, pro-oxidants, and disturbed energy homeostasis, in relation to the genetic variations, is described in this review of the recent literature, which also provides updated data regarding the epidemiology, diagnostic criteria, and pathogenesis of MetS.

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Acknowledgements

Our acknowledgments go to HEC for providing help with the literature survey through the digital library.

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UZ and SK contributed to the literature survey and manuscript write-up. HU helped in the literature survey. KPL conceived the idea and proofread the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Uzma Zafar or Khalid P. Lone.

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Zafar, U., Khaliq, S., Ahmad, H.U. et al. Metabolic syndrome: an update on diagnostic criteria, pathogenesis, and genetic links. Hormones 17, 299–313 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42000-018-0051-3

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Keywords

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Insulin resistance
  • Central obesity
  • Cytokines
  • Single-nucleotide polymorphisms