Metabolic Syndrome and Nursing Care

A combination of conditions that together increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, metabolic syndrome is the precursor to complications that may be lifelong, chronic, or even lead to death. To promote holistic care and improve patient outcomes, all nurses need to know about metabolic syndrome. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about 35% of U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome. Many experts believe the root cause is obesity. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates about two-thirds of American adults and 15% of children and adolescents are either overweight or obese. These statistics are significant because Americans are developing diabetes and CVD at much younger ages than ever, due to overweight or obesity. Metabolic syndrome doubles the risk of CVD and quintuples the diabetes risk. Risk is especially high in men older than age 45 and women older than age 55.

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