Insulin Resistance in the Metabolic Syndrome

  • Sudha B. Biddinger
  • Brice Emanuelli


In 1988, Gerald Reaven coined the term “Syndrome X” to describe a complex of metabolic abnormalities, including glucose intolerance, hypertriglyceridemia and reduced levels of HDL-cholesterol, present in individuals at increased risk for cardiovascular disease [1]. Since then, attempts to quantify cardiovascular disease risk have led to the development of clinical criteria for the diagnosis of this syndrome, now known as the “metabolic syndrome” or “insulin resistance syndrome”. Although these criteria continue to evolve, those put forth by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), World Health Organization (WHO), European Group for the Study of Insulin Resistance (EGIR), International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), all include hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-cholesterol and hypertension (reviewed in [2)] (Table 1). It is clear now that the metabolic syndrome is associated with many diseases in addition to cardiovascular disease. These include cholesterol gallstones, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which ranges from benign steatosis to non-alcholic steatohepatitis (NASH), polycystic ovary disease (PCOS) and neurodegenerative disease.


Insulin Resistance Metabolic Syndrome Insulin Receptor Insulin Signaling Unfold Protein Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded in part by National Institutes of Health grants DK063696 and DK083697 (SBB). Because of space limitations, we were unable to include all of the references we would have liked. We apologize to our many colleagues whose work is not directly cited.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of EndocrinologyChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA

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