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Doctors are studying the effects of the metabolic syndrome
The so-called metabolic syndrome is a cluster of at least three risk factors that include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. These factors are estimated to affect one in three adults in the UK alone. The metabolic syndrome severely damages the health of those affected and the sick can die from the effects in the worst case. Researchers are now investigating why an accumulation of several factors is particularly dangerous.
Florida Atlantic University researchers found that metabolic syndrome results in high deaths each year. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics".
Combining the risk factors is particularly dangerous
In the past, doctors examined the individual risk factors of the metabolic syndrome several times. Diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity have negative effects on our health, but all three effects together are particularly dangerous, the authors warn.
Belly fat is a health risk
Belly fat can have a particularly negative impact on human health. As so-called visceral fat, this fat is deposited around various organs in the human body such as the liver, pancreas and intestine. In the further consequence, insulin resistance is often shown, the scientists report.
Waist size is an important predictor of the metabolic syndrome
Waist size is a strong predictor of metabolic syndrome, even if the body mass index (BMI) is removed from the equation, explains author Professor Dawn Sherling. There are patients with a normal body mass index who still have an increased risk. When considering the metabolic syndrome, these patients represent an important part of everyday clinical practice, the experts explain.
Obesity is the main factor in the metabolic syndrome
The main factors that accelerate the path to metabolic syndrome are overweight and obesity, the scientists report. Obesity is slowly overtaking smoking as the leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States and around the world, explains study author Prof. Sherling. For optimal health, the waist should measure less than 101 cm in men and a maximum of around 89 cm in women, the scientists continue.
Negative effects of the metabolic syndrome
The metabolic syndrome is a silent killer, so to speak, because it remains largely without symptoms, the experts say. It is just as likely for those affected to develop a stroke or heart attack within the next ten years as for people who have previously had a heart attack or stroke.
Morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases will increase
When the current generation of American children and adolescents reaches middle age, the morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases will continue to increase, the scientists report. They emphasize that therapeutic lifestyle changes should begin in childhood.
Obesity often begins in childhood
The pandemic of obesity, which often affects children, is deeply worrying, the scientists say. Adolescents are now more obese and less physically active than their parents and have higher rates of type 2 diabetes, the experts said.
Mortality rates in the generation of children will exceed that of parents
It is likely that the current generation of children is the first generation since 1960 to have higher mortality rates than their parents. This is particularly due to heart diseases and strokes, the experts explain.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death
The researchers said obesity is an important risk factor for several types of cancer, especially colon, breast, and prostate cancer. In the United States, cardiovascular disease, particularly as a result of obesity and physical inactivity, will remain the leading cause of premature death, said author Professor Charles H. Hennekens.
Walking for twenty minutes a day can reduce the risk
Unfortunately, most people prefer to prescribe pills to avoid the consequences of their unhealthy lifestyle, the scientists report. Although there is evidence that a walk of 20 minutes or more a day will result in at least five percent weight loss for most of those affected. This weight loss in turn leads to significantly reduced cardiovascular events and deaths, the authors add. (as)