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Metabolic syndrome

Despite efforts to reduce the rapid climb in weight of the United States population, metabolic syndrome, a combination of high blood sugar, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and obesity, continues to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and amputation.

Based on current studies, metabolic syndrome begins in childhood. Patient assessment for metabolic syndrome should start early, before evidence of organ damage occurs. Certain groups of patients, including overweight individuals, are at higher risk for this problem.

The evaluation for metabolic syndrome begins with a thorough medical history regarding food intake, activity level, smoking and family members with this condition. The examination includes an evaluation of blood pressure, eyes, nerves and cardiovascular function. Laboratory testing is required to determine the presence of elevated cholesterol, evaluate kidney function and blood glucose level. Physicians review the test results with their patients and educate them on symptoms of metabolic syndrome to be aware of and steps they can take to reduce their risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

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News and Patient Stories: Metabolic syndrome

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