Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome – Leveling Off?
In a recent article published in JAMA, NHANES data for 2002-2012 was analyzed and revealed that, surprisingly, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome has actually been leveling off since 2007, and possibly even decreasing in women. The authors speculate that this could be due to greater awareness about the influence of obesity on overall well-being and health. This is very encouraging and, in my opinion, reinforces the importance for primary care docs and other providers to talk with their patients about metabolic syndrome, healthy diet and exercise, and work together in a collaborative way.
The scope of the problem is still quite large in the United States. For example, up to 50% of adults aged 60 and over meet criteria for metabolic syndrome! The health effects of this are wide reaching and have serious financial and public health implications. It is also well established that obesity can potentially affect nearly every organ system in an individual’s body in a negative way.
But don’t lose hope! Studies also demonstrate that even a 5-10% weight loss can lead to clinically significant improvement in a variety of obesity-related disease states, regardless of a patient’s starting weight.