Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of problems that often includes diabetes or prediabetes. What are the other conditions? Being overweight, especially when extra pounds accumulate around the midsection; having high or borderline-high blood pressure; having high triglyceride levels; and having low HDL (good) cholesterol. Specifically, you have metabolic syndrome if you have diabetes or prediabetes and two or more of the following:
• A large waist (forty inches or more for men and thirty-four inches or more for women)
• Borderline or high blood pressure (greater than or equal to 130/85 mmHg)
• A high level of triglycerides (greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL)
• Low HDL (under 40 mg/dL for men or under 50 mg/dL for women)
It's easy to overlook or brush aside the health implications of a few extra pounds. Or of blood pressure creeping toward the high end of the normal range. Or of slowly rising levels of blood fats. Ignoring the cluster, though, is a big mistake. Doctors and researchers think that the impact of the metabolic syndrome on health is more than the sum of its parts. Over the years, this collection of health risks has gone by many names. Besides the "deadly quartet," it has also been called syndrome X, insulinresistance syndrome, diabesity, and the dysmetabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome, although not as flashy or memorable as some of the other names, is the term used by most clinicians and researchers today.
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