Background: The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is characterized by the simultaneous presence of obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia in an individual, leading to increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. It affects almost 35% of the US adult population, while its’ prevalence increases with age. Elevated blood pressure is the most frequent component of the syndrome; however, up to date, the optimal antihypertensive regiment has not been defined.
Objective: The purpose of this review is to present the proposed definitions for the metabolic syndrome, as well as the prevalence of hypertension in this condition. Moreover, evidence regarding the metabolic properties of the different antihypertensive drug classes and their effect on MetS will be displayed.
Method: A comprehensive review of the literature was performed to identify data from clinical studies for the prevalence, pathophysiology and treatment of hypertension in the metabolic syndrome.
Results: Hypertension is present in almost 80% of patients with the metabolic syndrome. The use of thiazide diuretics and b-blockers has been discouraged in this population; however, new evidence suggests their use under specific conditions. Calcium channel blockers seem to exert a neutral effect on MetS, while renin-angiotensin system inhibitors are believed to be of the most benefit, although differences exist between the different agents of this category.
Conclusion: Controversy still exists regarding the optimal antihypertensive treatment for hypertension in MetS. Due to the high prevalence of hypertension in this population, more data from clinical trials are needed in the future.