One of every three U.S. adults have a combination of risk factors that increase their risk for heart disease and diabetes

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. have a combination of health conditions that put them at higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, and this condition affects nearly half of adults aged 60 and older, according to a new study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


This combination of health conditions, when found in one person, is called metabolic syndrome. It includes abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, increased fasting glucose levels and abnormal cholesterol levels.

The study collected data gathered by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from adults 20 and older from 2003 to 2012. It found that about a third had a metabolic symdrome in 2011-12, and nearly half of those 60 and older did. Among those 20 to 39, the rate was 18 percent.

The study report says these were “concerning observations” because of the country’s aging population. Hispanics, at 39 percent, were found to have the highest prevalence of metabolic syndrome among ethnic groups. Women had a higher prevalence than men in all age groups.

The American Heart Association says the best way to control the risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome are to lose weight and increase physical activity. It also encourages patients to routinely monitor their weight, blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure and treat these risk factors according to established guidelines.

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