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How common is the metabolic syndrome?
Posted by Jayson Hunter on 22 April 2011 11:18 AM
Although its exact frequency isn't known, the condition is widespread among the adult population in developed nations, and increases in frequency with age. For example, a study in the United States found that about 7% of adults aged 20-29 years had metabolic syndrome, while 43% of those in the age group 60-69 were affected. So nearly half of the adults aged 60-69 had the syndrome. But this study was based on results obtained in the period 1988-1994, when the rate of obesity was much less than now. The rate of metabolic syndrome among American adults is almost certainly greater now than it was at the time of that study. It is also starting to appear in affluent adults who have adopted Western diets and lifestyles in developing nations.However, it isn't just adults who are affected - the condition is also afflicting an increasing number of children and adolescents as the worldwide epidemic of obesity spreads across the age groups. For example, a recent US study found that 20-25% of obese children and adolescents also exhibited insulin resistance, a key element of metabolic syndrome and the condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
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