Metabolic Syndrome – Heart Disease and Diabetes

Dick Fields, Public Affairs Officer

Dick Fields, Public Affairs Officer

More than one third of U.S. adults have a combination of health problems collectively known as metabolic syndrome that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The rate of metabolic syndrome increases dramatically with age. Almost half of people 60 or older in the U.S. have metabolic disease!Since the population is aging it will place an increasing burden on our health care system. Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, increased levels of blood sugar, and a wider waist circumference. Using health data from 2003 to 2012 researchers concluded that 35 per cent of all U.S. adults had metabolic syndrome. Obesity is considered a leading factor in metabolic syndrome. Age influences metabolic syndrome.. About 47 % of people 60 or older have metabolic syndrome; only about 18 % of adults 20 to 39 have the condition. As people grow older, they become less active, heavier, and more insulin resistant. Steps need to be taken to encourage healthy lifestyle choices among those who have metabolic syndrome or who are likely to develop it. Positive steps are being taken, including less access to sugar-sweetened beverages in schools, better access to healthier foods in urban areas, and creation of places where people can walk safely and get more exercise. Steps toward change include skipping beverages that contain calories like sodas and fruit juices, preparing home-cooked meals, and walking as often as possible.. More efforts need to be done to be sensitive to the Hispanic population, which has the highest rate of metabolic syndrome of all ethnic groups; about 39 % of Hispanics have metabolic syndrome. So eat healthy, exercise more, and cut out sugar.


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