What is the metabolic syndrome?
It is widely believed that the metabolic syndrome has reached epidemic proportions. There are five diagnostic criteria used to make the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. They are abdominal adiposity (fat), hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels), low HDL levels, hypertension (high blood pressure) and fasting hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels). These criteria were defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
What is the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome?
The prevalence exceeds 20% of individuals who are at least 20 years of age. The numbers significantly increase for those above forty years of age, with a prevalence exceeding 40%.
Must all diagnostic criteria be present to make the diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome?
The NCEP guidelines require that at least 3 of the 5 clinical criteria be present for the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome to be made.
What is the predictive significance of this diagnosis to cardiovascular health?
The predictive power of the metabolic syndrome for both coronary events and the development of diabetes is increased by concurrently elevated C-reactive protein levels.