The risk of developing cardiovascular disease has recently been associated with a set of metabolic and physiological risk factors that include abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, hypertension, and elevated plasma glucose. The term most commonly used to describe this conglomeration of risk factors is the metabolic syndrome. Coronary heart disease risk is tripled in those individuals with this syndrome. Primary treatment focuses on weight reduction and physical activity to reduce risk factors and prevent the progression to cardiovascular disease. This article will review the definition, prevalence, pathogenesis, and treatment of the metabolic syndrome in women and will discuss the role of polycystic ovarian syndrome in relation to the metabolic syndrome.
Sara Paul, RN, MSN, FNP Heart Function Clinic, Western Piedmont Heart Centers, Hickory, NC.
Lanna Smith, RN, MSN, ANP Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Nurse Practitioner, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
Corresponding author Sara Paul, RN, MSN, FNP, Heart Function Clinic, Western Piedmont Heart Centers, 1771 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 201, Hickory, NC 28602 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).