A single risk factor may predispose to cardiovascular disease. For example, inadequate
physical activity may contribute to obesity, elevated blood pressure, and an
unhealthy pattern of blood cholesterol—all of which are associated with a higher
risk of atherosclerotic heart disease. When several cardiovascular risk factors are
present, their effect often increases exponentially. The metabolic syndrome is a
somewhat ill-defined cluster of CVD risk factors. It is usually diagnosed when an
adult has any three or more of the following five cardiovascular disease risk factors:

• Central or abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference) of greater
than 40 inches in men or greater than 35 inches in women
• Triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or greater
• HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in
• Systolic blood pressure of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater, or
diastolic blood pressure of 85 mm Hg or greater
• Fasting glucose of 100 mg/dL or greater

When a person has three or more of these risk factors, the chances for heart attack,
stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems
are much greater than if any one factor alone were present. Individuals with
metabolic syndrome have a two-fold increase in risk for heart attack or stroke and
a five-fold increased risk for developing diabetes. Although more than one in three
U.S. adults has metabolic syndrome, it can be treated and usually reversed by
addressing the factors on the Lifestyle Checklist, especially maintaining a healthy
weight, eating a heart-healthy diet, getting adequate exercise, and controlling blood
pressure through exercise, nutrition, and drugs.

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel