Everything you don’t know about metabolic syndrome could kill you!
Did you know that even your waist circumference can help predict your risk of cardiovascular disease? Read below about metabolic syndrome, what it means and why it is one of the biggest causes of heart problems and early death.
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a complex medical condition that currently affects around 31% of the world’s population. This condition is characterized by the presence of three or more of the following conditions:
- A large waist circumference (>88 centimeters for women and >102 centimeters for men)
- High blood pressure (>130/80 mm Hg)
- High fasting blood glucose (>100 mg/dL)
- High triglyceride level (>150 mg/dl)
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol (<40 mg/dL for men and <50 mg/dL for women)
Many people, especially around the age of 40-50, experience these conditions, even though they may not show any symptoms. Without treating these conditions, people with metabolic syndrome will end up experiencing problems such as heart attacks and strokes up to 2.3 years earlier than people without it.
What is the connection between asymptomatic metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease?
A new study showcased at the ESC Congress 2023 (European Society of Cardiology Congress) showed that there is a strong connection even between asymptomatic metabolic syndrome and the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases up to three decades later. Although the impact of metabolic syndrome on our health is already known, this study provides a better understanding of how various conditions can affect the body even when there are no symptoms.
34,269 adults between the ages of 40 and 50 participated in this study conducted in Sweden. They were tested for various conditions between 1990-1999. Participants were classified as having this syndrome if they presented three or more of the conditions outlined in the previous section. Thus, a total of 5,084 people (15%) met the criteria for metabolic syndrome, and the results after 30 years were compared with a control group of 10,168 people without the syndrome.
In the study led by Dr. Lena Lönnberg, it was observed that people with metabolic syndrome were 30% more likely to die during the 30-year period than those without it. A 35% higher risk of myocardial infarction and stroke was also observed in the first group.
Dr. Lönnberg stated that
“In our study, middle-aged adults with metabolic syndrome had a heart attack or stroke 2.3 years earlier than those without the collection of unhealthy traits. Blood pressure was the riskiest component, particularly for women in their 40s, highlighting the value of keeping it under control.”
How can we treat metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a complex problem, as it is the result of several risk factors. This means that the individual level of each risk factor is not the only thing to be concerned about. The presence alone of 3 or more risk factors simultaneously, even if at a lower level, is sufficient to decrease long-term life expectancy. Also, this condition can be present even when you feel healthy, making it harder to catch problems early.
That’s why it’s important to prevent all possible symptoms through lifestyle changes. These may include:
- Following a heart-healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet – high in whole grains, vegetables, grains, nuts, fish, and low in animal fats, salt and sugar
- Maintaining an appropriate weight – by controlling caloric intake and doing regular exercise
- Regular physical exercise
- Stress management
- Giving up cigarettes and alcohol
- Regular visits to the doctor – to detect anomalies as early as possible
Understanding and managing metabolic syndrome is essential for preventing long-term cardiovascular problems. This brings us to the importance of an app like Dahna in managing cardiovascular health. Dahna not only helps monitor symptoms, but also provides personalized solutions to minimize the risk associated with metabolic syndrome. In a world where technology and medicine join forces to improve quality of life, Dahna serves as an essential tool in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. Test Dahna on your phone too!