Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of symptoms including high blood sugar, obesity and cardiovascular problems — has reached epidemic proportions. According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans now have metabolic syndrome. The syndrome afflicts 40 percent of people in their sixties and seventies. That number is expected to rise along with our aging population. The CDC also predicts that one-third of Americans will develop diabetes if current trends continue.
A recent CDC study published in Pediatrics shows the epidemic isn’t limited to older adults. Obesity in teens has skyrocketed in the past decade — 23 percent of teens are now classified as diabetic or prediabetic.
A person with metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times more likely to develop diabetes. Other silent symptoms include eye, kidney and nervous system damage over time.