According to new research published in JAMA, one in three US adults are at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke due to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is present when someone has three or more of the following conditions: increased blood pressure, elevated blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist, and low blood levels of good HDL cholesterol.
Lead author Dr. Robert J. Wong and colleagues assessed data collected from 2003-2012 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that about a third of US adults aged 20 and older could be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. There was a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome conditions in women (35 percent) than men (30 percent). Metabolic syndrome was also found to increase with age it occurred in about half of adults over 60 years of age.
There was some good news however. While the prevalence of the condition increased from 33 percent in 2003 to 35 percent in 2012, Wong and colleagues found that it remained stable from 2008 to 2012, and decreased among women, although it isn t clear why. One possibility is that women are more likely to pursue weight loss.
Dr. Wong concludes, The main findings are that despite the stabilizing prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a large proportion of U.S. adults affected...still raises concern, especially given the significant health consequences associated with this syndrome. In order to prevent metabolic syndrome and obesity in general, people should make healthy lifestyle changes, including reducing overall calorie consumption and exercising moderately.