Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is recognized as an escalating major health risk in adults as well as in children and adolescents. Its prevalence ranges from 6 to 39% depending on the applied definition criteria. To date, there is no consensus on a MetS definition for children and adolescents. However, most authors agree on essential components such as glucose intolerance, central obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia; each representing a risk for cardiovascular disease. Recently, associations between MetS and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hyperuricemia, and sleep disturbances have emerged. Biomarkers like adipocytokines are a subject of current research as they are implicated in the pathogenesis of the MetS. Epigenetics and gestational programming, especially the role of microRNA, comprise a novel, rapidly developing and promising research focus on the topic of MetS. MicroRNAs are increasingly valued for potential roles in the diagnosis, stratification, and therapeutics of MetS. Early detection of risk factors, screening for metabolic disturbances, and the identification of new therapies are major aims to reduce morbidity and mortality related to MetS. Dietary modification and physical activity are currently the only adopted treatment approaches. Pharmacological therapies and bariatric surgery are still contradictory and, therefore, are only recommended in selected high-risk cases.
- metabolic syndrome
- additional components