Metabolic syndrome is not just one disease. Rather, it is a group of disorders of your body’s metabolism. Metabolism is the body’s system responsible for taking in food, processing food for energy so that your body can function properly, and then getting rid of any waste products.
High blood pressure,
obesity, glucose intolerance, and
all lie within this grouping of metabolic disorders.
Having metabolic syndrome puts you at risk for a number of different and potentially serious diseases and disorders, including
heart disease, and
Metabolic syndrome has been becoming more and more common. Approximately 47 million people in the US have metabolic syndrome, which translates to approximately one in four American adults. For older adults, there has been a very drastic increase in the number of people with metabolic syndrome; in those ages 60 and up, more than 40% have metabolic syndrome. It is estimated that 22% of overweight and 60% of obese individuals have metabolic syndrome.
The exact cause of metabolic syndrome is not known. It believed to be due to a combination of genetic factors (health factors that you inherited from your family) which account for up to 50% of the cases and environmental factors (lifestyle choices that you make including the types of food you eat and your level of physical activity).
Having metabolic syndrome means you have a number of metabolic disorders all at the same time. Some of these disorders include:
High blood pressure
(in particular, abdominal obesity)
Low HDL ("the good choleseterol")
High triglycerides (a form of fat in the bloodstream)
Elevation of proinflammatory and/or prothrombotic states (plasminogen activator inhibitor, IL6, C reactive protein)
The more of the above metabolic disorders you have, the more likely it is that you will be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. A study found that men with four or five of the above metabolic disorders are nearly four times more likely to have a
and more than 24 times more likely to develop
type 2 diabetes
(a condition in which your body either cannot produce insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces) than men with none of these disorders.
It is important to have regular check-ups with your doctor to get tested for and to manage these metabolic disorders before they develop into much more serious health conditions.
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Gami AS, Witt BJ, Howard DE, et al. Metabolic syndrome and risk of incident cardiovascular events and death: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.
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Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Daniels SR, et al. Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a