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Metabolic Syndrome Ups Stroke Risk

Researchers suggest treating risk factors before it's too late

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Metabolic syndrome greatly increases the risk of stroke.

That's the finding researchers from Boston University School of Medicine will present Friday at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting in San Diego.

The study suggests that treating the risk-factor components of metabolic syndrome may reduce stroke risk before the onset of type 2 diabetes.

"Before it become necessary to begin aggressive treatment of diabetes and other predisposing factors for stroke, it might be possible to take steps that can prevent these serious conditions from developing," study author Robert M. Najarian, a third-year medical student, says in a prepared statement.

He and his colleagues found women with metabolic syndrome have more than double the risk of stroke than women who don't have the syndrome. Men with metabolic syndrome have a 78 percent greater chance of stroke than men without the syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as the simultaneous presence of at least three of five metabolic abnormalities: abdominal obesity; high fasting levels of sugar; high triglycerides levels; low levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol); and high blood pressure.

People with metabolic syndrome, often regarded as a pre-diabetic condition, have a greatly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Both metabolic syndrome and diabetes increase a person's risk of coronary heart disease. Diabetes is also a risk factor for stroke.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about metabolic syndrome.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Feb. 6, 2004
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