The presence of the metabolic syndrome can be a useful tool to help GPs identify patients at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. To help reduce such risks, patients with the metabolic syndrome should be targeted with interventions following a multifaceted approach.
- The metabolic syndrome represents a link between abdominal obesity, a clustering of the major individual cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
- GPs should regularly screen the metabolic profile of all adult patients; patients who are older and at higher risk should be screened bi-yearly.
- The presence of one cardiovascular risk factor should lead to a careful assessment of the patient for the presence of the other cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors that characterise the metabolic syndrome.
- Patients with the metabolic syndrome should be carefully assessed for related comorbidities.
- Treatment should follow a multidisciplinary approach, addressing the common underlying cause (excess weight) and intensively targeting individual risk factors.
- Successful weight loss and regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in patients with the metabolic syndrome.