Cardiovascular Risk Factors / Disease States / Health

Researchers look into the association between metabolic syndrome and heart disease

Researchers look into the association between metabolic syndrome and heart diseaseResearchers have discovered an increase in death due to heart disease in men with metabolic syndrome, even in men who have no history of heart disease or diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is used to describe a cluster of heart disease risk factors which occurs in some people. Having metabolic syndrome increases the incidence of coronary artery disease and heart attack significantly. The risk factors include central obesity, high LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, elevated blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle. It is also thought, though not known, that genetic factors may also play a part.

Having metabolic syndrome also increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, glucose levels are too high due to the inability to produce enough insulin.

A main factor which contributes to metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance, where the body is less responsive to insulin. More insulin is released which results in an excess amount of insulin in the blood and a craving for more food. This process then often leads to metabolic syndrome. In the USA, it is estimated that 10 – 30% of adults have some form of insulin resistance.

A study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, enrolled 1209 men aged 42-60 who had no prior history of heart disease, cancer or diabetes to investigate the link between metabolic syndrome and mortality from heart disease.

The study showed that an increased mortality in those with metabolic syndrome, even when the syndrome was in its early stages. The researchers feel that metabolic syndrome is a “threat to public health”, with a need for early treatment. Weight loss is of great benefit to those with metabolic syndrome, even a 5-10% reduction in weight has been found to increase sensitivity to insulin, lower blood pressure and reduce central obesity.



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