Metabolic syndrome is a term for a group of metabolic risks factors that occur in one individual. About 35% of US adults have it. People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Risk factors for metabolic syndrome:
- Central obesity (excessive fat in the abdomen)
- Blood fat disorders (high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol)
- Elevated blood pressure (130/85 Hg or higher)
- Insulin resistance (signs of pre-diabetes)
- Prothrombotic state (high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor [-1] in the blood)
- Proinflammatory state (elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in the blood)
- Associated conditions such as physical inactivity, hormonal imbalance and aging.
There are no well-accepted criteria for diagnosing the metabolic syndrome. The criteria proposed by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) are the most current and widely used.
According to these criteria, metabolic syndrome is identified by three or more of the following:
- Central obesity as measured by waist circumference (men – greater than 40 inches, women – circumference than 35 inches)
- Elevated fasting blood triglycerides (Greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL)
- Low Blood HDL cholesterol(men – Less than 40 mg/dL, women – Less than 50 mg/dL)
- Elevated blood pressure(greater than or equal to 130/85 mmHg)
- Elevated fasting glucose(greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL)
ATP III did not recommend routine measurement of insulin resistance, prothrombotic state or proinflammatory state.
Lifestyle interventions can reduce risks factors associated with metabolic syndrome and reduce overall cardiovascular risk. These interventions include:
- Weight control or weight loss
- Increasing physical activity
- Eating a heart healthy diet
- Routinely monitoring and receiving necessary treatment for blood glucose, blood cholesterol and blood pressure
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