A considerable amount of data supports a 1.8-7.4-fold increased mortality associated with
Cushing’s syndrome (CS). This is attributed to a high occurrence of several cardiovascular disease
(CVD) risk factors in CS [e.g. adiposity, arterial hypertension (AHT), dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes
mellitus (T2DM)]. Therefore, practically all patients with CS have the metabolic syndrome (MetS),
which represents a high CVD risk. Characteristically, despite a relatively young average age, numerous
patients with CS display a 'high' or 'very high' CVD risk (i.e. risk of a major CVD event >20% in the
following 10 years). Although T2DM is listed as a condition with a high CVD risk, CS is not, despite
the fact that a considerable proportion of the CS population will develop T2DM or impaired glucose
tolerance. CS is also regarded as a risk factor for aortic dissection in current guidelines. This review
considers the evidence supporting listing CS among high CVD risk conditions.
Keywords: Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular risk factors.
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