Why Metabolic Syndrome Matters
People with metabolic syndrome have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes compared with those who don’t have it. Risk increases when more components of metabolic syndrome are present.
Metabolic syndrome is also associated with a generalized metabolic disorder called insulin resistance, which prevents people from using insulin efficiently. That’s why metabolic syndrome is also called insulin resistance syndrome.
People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk for:
- Coronary heart disease and heart attack. When the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits (plaque), the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the heart is decreased, which can cause chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.
- Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body can't make enough insulin or is unable to use insulin properly. This causes sugars to build up in the blood and increases risks for kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.
Although these risks are significant, there is good news. Metabolic syndrome can be treated and you can reduce your risks for cardiovascular events by:
- maintaining a normal blood pressure
- keeping your blood sugar in check
- controlling your cholesterol
- reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
- eating a heart-healthy diet
- getting enough physical activity
- following the advice of your health care team