Metabolic syndrome is worth caring about because it is a condition that can pave the way to both diabetes and heart disease, two of the most common and important chronic diseases today.
Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of type 2 diabetes (the common type of diabetes) anywhere from 9-30 times over the normal population. That's a huge increase. As to the risk of heart disease, studies vary, but the metabolic syndrome appears to increase the risk 2-4 times that of the normal population.
There are other concerns as well that should be mentioned. Metabolic syndrome is associated with fat accumulation in the liver (fatty liver), resulting in inflammation and the potential for cirrhosis. The kidneys can also be affected, as there is an association with microalbuminuria -- the leaking of protein into the urine, a subtle but clear indication of kidney damage.
Other problems associated with metabolic syndrome include obstructive sleep apnea, polycystic ovary syndrome , increased risk of dementia with aging, and cognitive decline in the elderly.
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