Facts about Metabolic Syndrome

Have you ever heard of metabolic syndrome? If you or one of your friends or a member of your family is going through it, then you probably knew about it. But for those of you who haven’t, it would be helpful to know the facts about metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is not just a single condition or disease. It is in fact a group of health disorders that is often observed in a single individual. These disorders could lead to the development of different cardiovascular complications as well as other health concerns.

The metabolic syndrome does not have an actual single definition. Several organizations hold their own definitions of it, though these definitions are still more or less the same. Most of the time, the warning signs that would suggest that the individual is going through this condition is usually similar, the only difference, which only gives a slight distinction, is the criteria. For example, the American Heart Association states that among the components that signify the syndrome is a waist circumference of 102 cm or more for males and 88 cm or more for females. The European Group for the Study of Insulin Resistance, on the other hand says that the syndrome will indicate a waist circumference of more than 94 cm for males, with 80 cm for females.

Using the definition given by AHA, the following components are significant:

  • Waist circumference, as mentioned above
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar or high fasting glucose
  • Elevated triglycerides (these are fat and oil)
  • A little amount of high density lipoprotein (HDL) – this is the good cholesterol

These components are frequently observed in people who are suffering from overweight and obesity. It is significant to keep in mind that weight alone is not included in the mentioned components. Central obesity, which can be measure through the waist circumference, is a chief key which makes the abdominal fat more important compared to fat from other parts of the body.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is not exactly determined. Some sources give a higher prevalence rate while others shout the rarity of the condition. There are those who claim that it can be seen in about a quarter of the total US population, while there are those who say it is only around 20% or so. It is also quite widespread in several other areas in the world.

With the increasing number of overweight people around, metabolic syndrome cases also rise. In some ways, it can be seen as having reached a pandemic status. It greatly affects the future of medicine, more specifically public medicine.

 Image courtesy of healthhabits.ca

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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