Treating Arterial Stiffness in Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Niki Katsiki1, Eugenia Gkaliagkousi1, Asterios Karagiannis1, Dimitri P. Mikhailidis2, *
1 2nd Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
2 Department of Clinical Biochemistry (Vascular Disease Prevention Clinic) and Department of Surgery, Royal Free Campus, University College London Medical School, University College London (UCL), London, UK

© 2013 Katsiki et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (Vascular Disease Prevention Clinic), Royal Free Hospital Campus, University College London Medical School, University College London (UCL), Pond Street, London NW3 2QG, UK; Tel: +44 20 7830 2258; Fax: +44 20 7830 2235; E-mail:


Arterial stiffening characterizes ageing and several diseases related to increased cardiovascular (CV) risk such as the metabolic syndrome (MetS), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension, obesity and smoking. Several studies have shown that arterial stiffness is a strong, independent predictor of CV morbidity and mortality risk in such patient populations. Lifestyle measures and drugs frequently prescribed in MetS and T2DM patients such as hypolipidaemic, antihypertensive, hypoglycaemic and antiplatelet agents, may improve arterial stiffness, thus further reducing vascular risk. The current review considers the effects of these drugs and lifestyle changes on arterial stiffness in MetS and T2DM patients. The potential clinical implications of such effects on treatment decisions in clinical practice remain to be established. Multifactorial interventions may be even more beneficial in terms of CV risk reduction and thus their impact on arterial stiffness should also be evaluated.

Keywords: Antihypertensive, antiplatelet drugs, arterial stiffness, hypoglycaemic, hypolipidaemic drugs, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus.