Almost to no one’s surprise, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that more than one-third of U.S. adults suffer from a mix of health problems called collectively the “metabolic syndrome.”
Sufferers experience increased risks of diabetes and various heart diseases. To make matters worse, researchers discovered the occurrence rate of metabolic syndrome rises significantly as the patient ages – and that’s how roughly half of people aged 60 or older in the U.S. are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
Leading author of the study, Dr. Robert Wong, assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, explained that such findings are worrying, as the population of the nation is aging. The consequences are likely to place an incredible strain on the health care system.
Having metabolic syndrome means you will have health problems with you high blood pressure, and you will experience irregular cholesterol levels. Patients also deal with raised amounts of sugar in the bloodstream, and balancing a healthy weight is increasingly difficult.
Metabolic syndrome is also one of the indicators that the patient is prone to heart health risk. In order to assess the country’s frequency rate of the syndrome, Wong and his team analyzed health data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2003 and 2012.
In 2003-2004, researchers found that approximately 33 percent of all U.S. adults had the syndrome. In the 2011-2012 medical data, that number was slightly increased to 35 percent.
Obesity is one of the leading causes of developing metabolic syndrome, and medical experts noticed the prevalence of both conditions go hand in hand, with rates mirroring each other.
Besides obesity, age seemed to have a great influence in metabolic syndrome. Young adults are less prone to develop it (only 18 percent), whereas almost 47 percent of people 60 or older have the condition. With patients over 60, women and Hispanics are the demographic to have it the most (50 percent).
Dr. Pamela Morris, president of the American College of Cardiology’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee, explained that it makes sense that age should play such an important role. As people age, the tendency of becoming heavier and less active increases drastically.
American Heart Association also believes in encouraging people in general, and people who have the condition in particular, to lead healthier lifestyles in order to prevent its development or keep it under control.
One of the suggested solutions was to limit the access children have to sugar-sweetened beverages in schools, and replace it with better access to healthy foods in urban areas. AHA added on the list the creation of more locations where people can walk or run safely and get more physical exercise.
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