-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A group of health
conditions collectively known as metabolic syndrome may pose an
even greater danger to the heart than previously recognized, new
study findings suggest.
The combination of metabolic syndrome risk factors -- including
obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin
resistance -- increases the risk of developing heart disease and
diabetes. And about 25 percent of American adults have metabolic
syndrome, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood
In the new analysis, researchers examined more than 70 recent
studies that included a total of nearly one million patients. The
investigators found that people with metabolic syndrome are up to
2.5 times more likely to die of heart-related causes and to have
heart disease, a heart attack or stroke, compared to people without
In addition, metabolic syndrome patients had a 50 percent
greater risk of death during the study follow-up period. Among
those without diabetes, the cardiovascular risk remained high, the
study authors noted.
"Our study suggests that the association between metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular outcomes is even stronger than previously suspected," study author Dr. Mark Eisenberg, a professor of medicine in the divisions of cardiology and clinical epidemiology at Jewish General Hospital/McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said in an American College of Cardiology news release.
"It firmly reinforces the urgent need to aggressively combat the metabolic syndrome in order to reduce and perhaps even prevent heart disease and improve survival," he added.
And while individuals need to do their part to maintain a
healthy lifestyle, such as eating right and exercising, societal
changes could also make a difference, Eisenberg suggested.
"Ultimately, population-level interventions such as New York City's ban on trans-fats are needed to decrease the number of people with the metabolic syndrome and their corresponding cardiovascular risk," Eisenberg said in the news release.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
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