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Risk Factors and Health History

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a cluster of several risk factors associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and stroke. Almost 39% of adults in the U.S. have metabolic syndrome. How do you know if you have it? The risk factors include:

  • being overweight, particularly with a higher waist circumference
    • waist circumference of greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men
  • being hypertensive, meaning having elevated blood pressure (or currently using medication to control it)
    • systolic blood pressure at 130 mmHg or greater
    • diastolic blood pressure at 85 mmHg or greater
  • being pre-diabetic or having elevated blood glucose levels (or currently using blood glucose medication)
    • fasting blood glucose sugar of 100 mg/dL or greater
  • having elevated triglycerides (or currently using medication to reduce it)
    • at least 150mg/dL or greater
  • high LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), low HDL (the good kind)
Preventing metabolic syndrome

The three main points of focus for prevention are…

  1. achieving weight loss
    • aiming for 5-10% weight loss within 1 year
  2. moderate increase in physical activity
    • meeting recommendations of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week
  3. change in dietary habits
    • decrease sugar foods
    • increase lean protein
    • reduce saturated fats


A Guide to Physical Fitness Copyright © by Jen Hilker. All Rights Reserved.

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