Metabolic Syndrome among Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic Populations

Jose M. Marcial, Pablo I. Altieri, Hector Banchs, Nelson Escobales, María Crespo


Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease that affects an estimated 50 million Americans. The present article reviews this syndrome with respect to its definition, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and management. A primary focus in research has been to elucidate the processes that have been determined to cause insulin resistance, the fundamental mechanism underlying metabolic syndrome; these processes are reviewed here along with the interplay of the syndrome with the renin angiotensin system, circadian rhythm, and atherosclerosis. Lifestyle changes promoting exercise and a healthy diet can reduce the incidence and prevent the progression of metabolic syndrome; however, refractory cases may warrant drug therapy. Recent emphasis has been placed on targeting obesity and insulin resistance as new therapeutic modalities are developed. In this manuscript, the incidence, component characteristics, and complications of metabolic syndrome in island-living Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic populations are described. The fact that island patients suffering from the syndrome tend to have less aggressive coronary disease and relatively normal lipid profile compared to their stateside counterparts is also discussed.


Metabolic Syndrome; Obesity; Cardiovascular Diseases

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Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
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