Metabolic Syndrome and the Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Stroke

Metabolic syndrome is a name given to common risk factors that when at least three are present lead to increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. General risk factors that can lead to any of these diseases are: genetics, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, hormonal changes and aging. However the American Heart Association states that you are at risk of metabolic syndrome and increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke if you also have at least three of the following present:

• Blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85 mmHg
• Fasting blood sugar (glucose) equal to or higher than 100 mg/dL
• Large waist circumference (length around the waist):

  • Men – 40 inches or more
  • Women – 35 inches or more

• Low HDL cholesterol:

  • Men – under 40 mg/dL
  • Women – under 50 mg/dL

• Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL

How can you prevent metabolic syndrome and its risks? First see you physician and get a physical. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and recommend specific blood tests that check if your cholesterol and blood glucose are too high. If your physician prescribes any medications make sure you take them as indicated. Get moving – exercise helps to improve blood glucose, lower cholesterol and maintain optimal weight. Finally eat a healthy diet – fruits, vegetables, whole grains are some of the basics. The America College of Cardiology cites the Mediterranean diet as being beneficial to preventing metabolic syndrome and its other health risk factors: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/diet-nutrition/story/2011/03/Mediterranean-diet-reduces-risk-of-metabolic-syndrome. For more information on preventing metabolic syndrome visit the American Heart Association website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MetabolicSyndrome/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-Metabolic-Syndrome_UCM_301927_Article.jsp.

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About Donna M. Post, RN CLNC/Mid-Valley Legal Nurse Consulting, Inc.

Donna M. Post, RN, BSN, MBA/HCM, CLNC, LNCP-C is a Registered Nurse with 25 years of experience ranging from critical care to healthcare management. She currently is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and Certified Life Care Planner and the founder of Mid-Valley Legal Nurse Consulting, Inc. http://www.mvlnc.com.
This entry was posted in Clinical Corner, Nursing, Patient Advocacy, Public Health Concerns, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Metabolic Syndrome and the Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Stroke

  1. Donna, glad you published this info about metabolic syndrome. The numbers projected for the rate of Type II Diabetes are pretty frightening – and the luxury of having a precursor is not often available so that disease can be more easily managed. I first learned of this from Christiane Northrop, in her book “The Wisdom of Menopause,” but it was years before I saw references to it in any other lay literature.

    Thanks for the great post!

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