METABOLIC SYNDROME OR SYNDROME X
What is Syndrome X?
Increasingly in recent years, scientists have recognized that
some heart disease risk factors cluster together in certain
people. These risk factors include
1 central obesity (excessive fat tissue in the abdominal region)
2 glucose intolerance including diabetes
3 hyperlipidemia -- primarily high triglycerides and low HDL
4 high blood pressure
This condition has been called Syndrome X or "metabolic
syndrome". Many scientists think it's genetically based. The
underlying cause isn't fully understood. People with Syndrome X
are at higher risk of coronary artery disease.
Who has Syndrome X?
Syndrome X has been observed in people who are
insulin-resistant. One such group is people with diabetes, who
have a defect in insulin action and can't maintain a proper
level of glucose in their blood. Another is people, mainly those
with high blood pressure, who are nondiabetic and
insulin-resistant but who compensate by secreting large amounts
of insulin. This condition is known as hyperinsulinemia. A third
group is heart attack survivors who, unlike people with
hypertension, have hyperinsulinemia without having abnormal
More study is needed to understand the relationship between
these risk factors. In the meantime, these steps are
particularly important for patients and their doctors:
1 Monitor blood glucose, lipoproteins, and blood pressure.
2 Achieve ideal body weight and increase physical activity. Both
are time-tested methods of improving insulin sensitivity, blood
pressure and lipoprotein levels.
3 Treat diabetes and hyperlipidemia according to established
4 Carefully choose drug therapy for people with high blood
pressure, because different agents have different effects on