"Metabolic Syndrome" May Predict Diabetes

Published Online: Monday, September 1, 2003

    Who has the highest risk of developing diabetes and heart disease? According to a 5-year Scottish study, the results of which were published in a July 2003 issue of Circulation, the patients at greatest risk are those with ?metabolic syndrome? or ?syndrome x.? Individuals have metabolic syndrome if they have just 3 of the following 5 conditions: abdominal obesity, high levels of triglycerides, low levels of ?good? cholesterol, high blood sugar levels, and high blood pressure.

    Study participants with 3-condition metabolic syndrome were 3.5 times as likely to develop diabetes, whereas those with 4 or 5 metabolic conditions had a 24.5 times greater risk of developing diabetes, compared with people with none of the features. The study suggested that metabolic syndrome was the first simple way to calculate diabetes risk.

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