Saturday , January 23 2021

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

By Zhiyi Qiang, Ph.D. NRCC

What is Metabolic Syndrome?Based on recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, the top 10 leading causes of death in 2017 in the US were:

1. Heart disease
2. Cancer
3. Accidents
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
5. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)
6. Alzheimer’s disease
7. Diabetes
8. Influenza and pneumonia
9. Kidney disease
10. Suicide

Heart disease (#1), stroke (#5), Alzheimer’s disease (#6), and diabetes (#7) are chronic diseases that are very well known. However, did you know these four diseases are all interrelated and may have the same precursor?

There are common components shared by these diseases in our heart, brain and pancreas (an organ that plays an essential role in converting the food we eat into fuel for the body’s cells)?

Increasing evidence indicates that many individuals who develop cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s actually have common metabolic precursors [1], which have been referred to a general condition called Metabolic Syndrome.

In the United States, 1 in 3 people or over 100 million adults have been reported to have metabolic syndrome [1].

What is Metabolic Syndrome?
The diagnostic criteria of metabolic syndrome have been clearly defined by several organizations, such as International Diabetes Federation (IDF), American Heart Association (AHA), National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III), etc., as three or more of the following five abnormalities are present:

1. Waist circumference over 40 inches (men) or 35 inches (women);
2. Blood pressure over 130/85 mm Hg;
3. Fasting triglyceride level over 150 mg/dL;
4. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level less than 40 mg/dl (men) or 50 mg/dl (women);
5. Fasting blood glucose over 100 mg/dL.

Among these 5 components, waist circumference measurements and blood pressure can easily be measured in the comfort of your own home. Fasting triglyceride, HDL and fasting blood glucose can be retrieved from a high quality and reliable clinical diagnostic laboratory.

If you don’t have any of these abnormalities, you are considered low risk for heart disease and diabetes. If you have one or two abnormalities, you would be considered at risk for metabolic syndrome. Having three or more abnormalities is diagnostic for metabolic syndrome and places you at high risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s in the future.

Here are some eye-opening facts about Metabolic Syndrome:
1. Metabolic syndrome accounts for 50% of new cases of diabetes and up to 30% of new heart disease cases every year[2];
2. Metabolic syndrome is associated with 2 times greater risk of heart disease [3];
3. Metabolic syndrome is associated with 6 times greater risk of developing diabetes [4];
4. People with both metabolic syndrome and diabetes have the highest prevalence of heart disease compared to those who have neither.[5].
5. Men with 4 or 5 abnormal components in the diagnostic criteria of metabolic syndrome had nearly a 4 times increase in risk for heart disease and a 25 times increase in risk for diabetes compared to men with zero abnormalities [6].
6. Metabolic syndrome is associated with 2 times greater risk of stroke and 3 times greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease [3, 7].

Therefore, early identification, treatment, and prevention of metabolic syndrome presents a major challenge as we face an epidemic of unhealthy lifestyles.

How do we prevent metabolic syndrome?
The key is knowing your risk so you can make lifestyle changes before a more serious condition develops. Prevé developed the Metasyn Check for this purpose. It includes lab tests that can signal risks that may be reversed with lifestyle changes and trigger early preventive discussions with your physician.

A Prevé membership includes tools to assist you in your wellness journey:
Community Support Groups: Connect with the MyPrevé community to reinforce the healthy lifestyle you’re cultivating with social support along your journey.

Educational Resources: Read material from our experts to continually learn more about nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle management and make the most informed choices about your health.

Lifestyle Management Tools: You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Our lifestyle management tools are integrated with smart technology to track your fitness, vitals, weight, nutrition and behavior.

Personalized Lab Result Discussions: Our lab result specialists will schedule time with you to help you make sense of what your results mean and to develop a strategy to further discuss these results and how to improve them with your physician.

Visit our website,, to learn more and sign up for testing. Visit your local Prevé lab partner at:

Select Labs – Marion County
11115 S W 93rd Court Road
Ocala, FL 34481

1. Rosenzweig, J.L., et al., Primary Prevention of ASCVD and T2DM in Patients at Metabolic Risk: An Endocrine Society* Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2019.
2. Wilson, P.W., et al., Metabolic syndrome as a precursor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Circulation, 2005. 112(20): p. 3066-72.
3. Mottillo, S., et al., The metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2010. 56(14): p. 1113-32.
4. Meigs, J.B., et al., Using metabolic syndrome traits for efficient detection of impaired glucose tolerance. Diabetes Care, 2004. 27(6): p. 1417-26.
5. Alexander, C.M., et al., NCEP-defined metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and prevalence of coronary heart disease among NHANES III participants age 50 years and older. Diabetes, 2003. 52(5): p. 1210-4.
6. Sattar, N., et al., Metabolic syndrome with and without C-reactive protein as a predictor of coronary heart disease and diabetes in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study. Circulation, 2003. 108(4): p. 414-9.
7. Vanhanen, M., et al., Association of metabolic syndrome with Alzheimer disease: a population-based study. Neurology, 2006. 67(5): p. 843-7.

Copyright 2019 Prevé Wellness, LLC.
This information is intended for educational purposes only, it is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat disease or as a substitute for a physician’s consultation.
* The links to other websites are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; Preve Wellness, LLC bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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