Hirsutism is a finding that can lead to subsequent metabolic diagnoses such as the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome describes a cluster of cardiometabolic risk factors associated with overweight and obesity. Although it has been the subject of some controversy, perhaps due to the many definitions proposed by different health organizations, metabolic syndrome is clinically relevant in that it is a predictor of vascular risk, even independent of any associated type 2 diabetes. While various definitions may differ in precise cut-off points, they uniformly emphasize key pathophysiologic processes: visceral obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Management of metabolic syndrome focuses on methods of reducing the component risk factors, and therapies thus target the above processes as well as controlling inflammation and the prothrombotic state. Treatments can include not only pharmacologic approaches but behavior modification as well.
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