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Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolic Syndrome



Period: May 12 – May 30, 2014

The main objective of this course is to provide insight in recent developments in the link between the complex of abnormalities that comprise the “Metabolic Syndrome” and the development of premature cardiovascular disease. The metabolic syndrome is defined by the co-occurrence of obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hypertension and low grade inflammation.
It is obvious that the metabolic syndrome is strongly associated with the increased dysbalance between energy intake and expenditure in the Western world.
The main complications of the Metabolic Syndrome are type 2 diabetes and premature cardiovascular disease and it has been predicted that the health care burden and costs associated with these complications will reach massive proportions as the currently obese population ages.

In this three weeks course, one week will be devoted to lectures, discussions and self-study assignments on the different aspects of the metabolic syndrome and one week to cardiovascular disease. Some three to four afternoons will be spent on practical insight and will include some (self)experimentation (for example a fat and glucose tolerance test). The third week is assigned to the writing of a review.
Approximately half of the lectures will be given by PhD students and they will try to enthuse you for their specific research question. The other half of the lectures will be given by more senior scientists and clinicians and will include more review of the field, but again will also include their own research.

Course objectives

Insight in the inter-relation between the various aspects of the metabolic syndrome and their association with risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Assessment method

The end product of this course will be a review on a “hot topic” and an oral presentation on the last day of the course. Groups of 2-3 students will be assigned a tutor from within the collaborating departments to help them select a topic and write the paper.