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Why you should care if your waistline is increasing: The dangers of metabolic syndrome

Death from coronary heart disease (heart attack) is still the number one cause of death in this country. One of the major risk factors is diabetes and this has been labeled the new epidemic, as by 2025 one in three Americans will have this disease if current trends do not change.

Many people have a combination of problems that put them at an extremely high risk of both diabetes and coronary disease and may not even be aware of it. This combination is known as the metabolic syndrome.

To find out if you have this syndrome, take a look at the following problems. If you have three or more of the problems, you have this syndrome:

  • Waist size > 40 inches for males or >35 inches for females
  • Blood pressure higher than 120 mm Hg over 80 mm Hg
  • Fasting Triglycerides¬† > 150
  • HDL cholesterol < 40
  • Fasting glucose (blood sugar ) > 100

Any of the above can be of concern, but if you meet criteria for metabolic syndrome your risk for diabetes and heart disease is even higher.

The good news is that much of this risk can be reduced by lifestyle changes. We at the Affinity Medical Home have a keen interest in trying to do just that and all our clinics now have a RN specialist who is trained in helping outline ways to help improve your overall and metabolic health. As a physician, I will work with the RN specialist and our entire team to help you improve your health.

For more information about Affinity Medical Home please call NurseDirect or come see us in the clinic.

Daniel Smith, DO, is board-certified in family practice medicine and provides comprehensive, personalized primary care service to individuals and families. Dr. Smith sees patients of all ages, and has a special interest in sports medicine. He enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors, participating in activities such as biking, skiing, hiking and camping.

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