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metabolic syndrome: a growing epidemic
metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions and/or risk factors, leads to an increased incidence of cardiovascular (cv) disease as well as type 2 diabetes mellitus. it was first described in 1988 and has been referred to by a variety of names, including "reaven's syndrome," "deadly quartet," "syndrome x," "insulin resistance syndrome" and "dysmetabolic syndrome." in general, the components include central adiposity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and a proinflammatory state. each component is independently associated with an increased cardiovascular risk and diabetic risk. together, the potential health effects are made more significant. accurate diagnosis and aggressive treatment with lifestyle modifications and/or pharmacotherapy is necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality.
approximately 47 million adults in the united states currently have metabolic syndrome. this represents nearly 1 in 4 adults over 21 years of age. based on population-weighted estimates, approximately 1 million adolescents have metabolic syndrome and as many as 40% of adults over 60 years of age.