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Metabolic Syndrome X

Researchers in Scotland said yesterday they can tell who has the highest risk of heart disease and diabetes based on three of five measurements of obesity, cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose.

They said the tests might offer an easier way to tell which men are most in danger and most in need of drugs, weight loss, and exercise.

The five measurements are used to define metabolic syndrome, or ''syndrome x.'' They are a measurement of unhealthy fat, usually done with a simple waist-circumference check; high triglycerides, a component of cholesterol; low levels of LDL or ''good'' cholesterol; high glucose; and high blood pressure.

Dr. Naveed Sattar of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland and colleagues looked at data from 6,447 men taking part in a larger study of heart disease in the Glasgow area.

Using their new definition, 26 percent of the men had metabolic syndrome, Sattar reports in this week's issue of the journal Circulation.

Over five years, these men had 1.7 times the risk of a coronary heart event such as heart attack or severe chest pain, and 3.5 times the risk of developing diabetes, Sattar found.

Men with four or five features of metabolic syndrome had 3.7 times the risk of coronary heart disease and 24.5 times the risk of diabetes compared with those with normal blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin levels, he said.

It was known that having five abnormal measurements meant a man had a higher risk of heart disease, but this is the first to show a simpler formula - and the first to offer a way to calculate diabetes risk, Sattar said.

See also:

Syndrome X and Obesity
Syndrome X, Carbs and Insulin

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