Features January 2010 Issue

Beware the “Most Dangerous” Set of Heart Risk Factors

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by risk factors that damage heart healthóand some may be more harmful than others.

Underpinning many Americansí poor heart health is a condition called metabolic syndrome (MetS), which affects more than 50 million of us, according to figures from the American Heart Association. Itís essentially a cluster of risk factors that can occur singly or together, and new research suggests that one particular combination can significantly affect the risk of heart attack and mortality. "Although MetS isnít a disease in itself, its impact on heart health means its predisposing risk factors need to be rigorously addressed via lifestyle changes and medications where necessary," says Curtis Rimmerman, MD, Gus P. Karos Chair in Clinical Cardiovascular Medicine and staff cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic.

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