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Metabolic Syndrome

Health NewsEat right and exercise. How many times have we heard that advice? For over 65 million Americans the answer might be "not enough". That's the estimated number of people the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says may suffer from metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is a cluster of medical conditions that, according to CDC, could be caused by a poor diet and insufficient physical activity. The National Cholesterol Education Program first defined the syndrome, which is sometimes referred to as Syndrome X or Dysmetabolic Syndrome X, in May of 2001.

Factors

According to the National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC), metabolic syndrome is linked to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes and a high risk of coronary artery disease. NWHIC says having at least three of the following risk factors could make you a candidate for metabolic syndrome:

The American Heart Association (AHA) says that scientists believe metabolic syndrome could be genetic (Read about "Genetics"), although the underlying cause is not totally understood.

Recommendations

The American Heart Association says more study is needed on metabolic syndrome to understand the cluster of risk factors. Meanwhile AHA suggests the following steps for patients who may have the syndrome:

According to AHA dysmetabolic syndrome also refers to a heart condition where chest pain and electrocardiographic changes are present, but where there are no findings of coronary disease. AHA says some research shows that people with cardiac syndrome X also have lipid abnormalities. This suggests, according to AHA, that dysmetabolic syndrome and metabolic syndrome may be the same.

The future

CDC believes that the high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this country signals an urgent need to focus efforts on controlling the nation's obesity epidemic and improving physical activity levels within the U.S. population.

Related Information:

    Losing Weight

    Walking For Health

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