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Note on Lifestyle

Waist circumference and Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) receives a lot of attention as a marker for cardiovascular risk and for development of diabetes. However, it is not a simple marker, as it is defined as having at least 3 of five different risk markers above a cutoff (or in the case of HDL cholesterol, below a cutoff). These risk markers are waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting glucose. However, population studies have shown that using MetS to predict risk offers no advantages to using each of the risk factors individually. The usefulness of MetS is further confused by the existence of several different definitions which vary in their cutoff points, mostly for waist circumference. This study shows that only the NCEP MetS definition, which uses a higher waist circumference cutoff, predicted future cardiovascular disease. This finding is in line with studies showing that obese BMIs (over 35) but not overweight

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