Metabolic syndrome is a combination of several individual metabolic problems that lead to high risk of atherosclerosis and heart problems. The disease has become a serious global problem in the last two decades with as much as 47 millions of cases in US and 25 million in Europe, and further understanding of its origin and mechanism is urgent. To that aim, in an article just published online in the International Journal of Obesity, a group of Portuguese scientists reports that patients suffering from severe metabolic syndrome show high levels of Protein-C reactive (CRP), an inflammatory marker, a result that suggests a role for inflammation in the disease. Additionally, it was also found that central obesity (found around the abdomen/organs) and high blood pressure, two of the metabolic problems associated with the syndrome, were directly associated with the increase in CRP levels making them into preferential targets for both therapy and prevention.
Metabolic syndrome was first described 80 years ago as a cluster of three or more specific health conditions in an individual that leads to high risk of cardiovascular disease. The health conditions associated with the syndrome (also called syndrome’s components) include obesity (especially central obesity, which is found around the viscera/abdomen), type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, abnormal amounts of fat in the blood and high blood pressure (hypertension).
For most patients the origin of the syndrome seems to be related with poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and subsequent increase in body weight, and the raise in metabolic syndrome numbers is believed to be associated with the global epidemic of obesity and diabetes. The disease spreading has led to serious health concerns, especially in relation to the increased risk of cardiovascular problems observed in patients, and consequently to the realisation that better preventive and therapeutic measures were necessary.
Catarina Amorim | alfa
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