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Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of five closely related cardiovascular risk factors. Each is dangerous, but when they occur together, the overall risk is greater than the sum of its parts. The presence of any three is sufficient to establish the diagnosis.

1. Abdominal obesity (waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and 35 inches for women)
2. Fasting triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dl (a measure of concentration) or higher.
3. HDL “good” cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dl for men and below 50 for women.
4. Blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or above.
5. Fasting blood sugar level of 110 mg/dl or above.

Regular exercise is the best way to prevent metabolic syndrome and is also the mainstay of therapy once the problem has developed.

Harvard Men’s Health Watch

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, July/August 2008. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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