Arguments Continue Over the Metabolic Syndrome “Label”

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New York, NY – Years after the term metabolic syndrome was first coined, controversy continues over the validity of naming and treating this clustering of certain risk factors as a separate condition. While different organizations use different definitions, metabolic syndrome is generally defined as having any three of the following: increased waist circumference, elevated triglycerides, reduced HDL cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, or elevated fasting glucose.

But for almost as long as the metabolic syndrome has been around, disagreement over its relevance has pitted some of the diabetes community against some of those in cardiology. This came to a head in 2005 when the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) issued a statement discouraging the use of the term metabolic syndrome, and then just a few weeks later, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released their own statement encouraging use of the metabolic-syndrome concept. Five years later, it appears that little has changed, with arguments still raging over whether there is any point in identifying and labeling individuals with this clustering of risk factors.

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