Metabolic syndrome is a deadly potpourri
Piriya Kulvatada/Shutterstock If this is a new one to you, metabolic syndrome is generally recognized as having at least three of the following five risk factors, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH): a large waist line, high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind), high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar. The reason for clumping these related problems together is that while each raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes, combined they’re far deadlier. “Each one of those factors in its own right has an adverse effect on your vascular system,” says Mott Blair, MD, a family physician in Wallace, N.C. and member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “Having them in conjunction really raises your risk, and you need to pay attention to that.” Watch out for these symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
It’s on the rise
Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock The prevalence of metabolic syndrome has increased so much, Florida Atlantic University researchers warn it’s the new “silent killer,” comparable to hypertension in the 1970s. One in three adults—and approximately 40 percent of adults 40 and older—are affected by metabolic syndrome, the researchers report. “Am I personally seeing more cases of metabolic syndrome in my practice today than I was 10 or 15 years ago?” asks Dr. Blair. “Yes, absolutely.”