Metabolic Syndrome Takes Toll on Health, Wallet
According to a recent study, $4 of every $10spent on prescription drugs for adults in Americais spent by patients with metabolic syndrome—a condition marked by high bloodpressure, diabetes, cholesterol problems, andlarger waistlines. The study showed that adultuse of medication for the syndrome jumped36% between 2002 and 2004. Yearly costs ofprescriptions for people aged 20 and over withthe syndrome averaged $4,116 in 2004, 4.2times more than the average amount spent onmedication for that age group, according toMedco, the prescription benefit manager thatran the study. Researchers reached their findingsby studying the prescription records of arandom sample of 2 million clients.
Federal health surveys show that theprevalence of the syndrome in people over 40jumped 60% in the last decade alone. Peoplewith the syndrome are twice as likely to suffera heart attack or stroke, and more than 3times as likely to die early from those causes.