A new report shows that one third of all American adults are being affected by metabolic syndrome, a potentially dangerous condition that can lead to heart disease, a shorter lifespan, or both.
The study, published earlier this week (May 19) in the Journal of the American Medical Association, informs that about 35 percent of American adults, and approximately 50 percent of American seniors have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, more than recorded ever before.
The condition itself, sometimes called “metabolic syndrome”, sometimes called “Syndrome X”, is not a single factor, but a grouping of three to five risk factors. They include abdominal obesity (40 inches / 102 cm or more in a man, and 35 inches / 88 cm or more in a woman), high blood pressure (30/85 mmHg or greater), high triglyceride levels, low levels of high-density lipoproteins, and high blood sugar levels after fasting overnight.
The American Heart Association informs that “When a patient presents with these risk factors together, the chances for future cardiovascular problems are greater than any one factor presenting alone”. They are vulnerable to heart attacks, stroke and diabetes.
Dr. Robert Wong, a senior study author and assistant clinical professor at the University of California, talked about the number of Unstated States citizens affected by the condition, saying that the situation is one of great concern as the population of the U.S. is aging, which in turn could potentially place a huge burden on the nation’s health care system.
Not only that, but MD Robert J. Wong of the Alameda Health System-Highland Hospital Campus in Oakland, informs that the overall prevalence of metabolic syndrome rose from 32.9 percent in 2003-2004 to 34.7 percent in 2011-2012, and the condition appears to affect Hispanics more than any other race.
The rates have however stabilized between the statistical years of 2007-2008 and 2014-2015. J. Wong explains that according to NHANES data, obesity prevalence in the United States seems to have also stabilized recently. This is thought to be a factor that may have brought a major contribution to the stabilizing prevalence of the metabolic syndrome.
Elliott Antman, American Heart Association president and MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was fairly happy with the findings, saying that while it is disturbing that researchers did not see a decrease in the prevalence, it is still reassuring that the prevalence appears to have leveled off since 2007.
He did mention that continued public education and considerable changes in diet could prevent the phenomenon from escalating out of control.
Kim Williams Sr., American College of Cardiology president and MD of Rush University Medical Center, is less happy with the results than Antman, but agrees that lifestyle has to change. She stresses the importance of consuming products with lower calorie, lower fat, more plant-based nutrition, and consistent moderate exercise, and urges parents to introduce their children to this lifestyle while they’re young.