(Syndrome X; Insulin Resistance Syndrome; Dysmetabolic Syndrome)
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.
Having metabolic syndrome puts you at risk for a number of different and potentially serious diseases and disorders, including
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 (hypertension)
- Obesity (in particular, abdominal obesity)
- Low HDL ("the good choleseterol")
- High triglycerides (a form of fat in the bloodstream)
- Glucose intolerance
- 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
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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Metabolic syndrome increases risk of coronary death. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3024259 . Accessed July 28, 2005.
Metabolic syndrome may be an important link to stroke. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3018936 . Accessed July 28, 2005.
Ridker PM, Wilson PWF, Grundy SM: Should C-Reactive Protein Be Added to Metabolic Syndrome and to Asssessment of Global Cardiovascular Risk? Circulation 2004;109:2818-25.
Steinberger J, Daniels SR, Eckel RH et al: AHA Scientifc Statement: Progress and Challenges in Metabolic Syndrome in Children and Adolescents. Circulation 2009; 119:628-647.
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