Metabolic syndrome describes having three or more risk factors for a heart attack, diabetes and stroke. Although recognized as a distinct medical condition less than 20 years ago, the syndrome pervades countries all over the world. The American Heart Association suggests that 47 million Americans, or one in six people, have the syndrome. Running higher in families with histories of coronary disease and among Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and African-Americans, metabolic syndrome becomes more likely with age.
Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome
Obesity leads the risk factors for developing the dangerous health condition and independently raises the chances of getting insulin-, lipid- and cholesterol-related diseases. Other risk factors for metabolic syndrome include:
- Large waist sizes greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women
- Using cholesterol medication
- Low levels of good cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- High blood pressure of 135/85 or greater
- High blood glucose levels after fasting of 100 mg/dl or higher
Crestor Acts to Reduce Cholesterol and Plaque
Crestor belongs to a class of drugs called statins that lower the bad type of cholesterol and actually reduce plaque deposits in the arteries. The Jupiter study, which was published in New England Journal of Medicine, correlated the following results from a study of 17,802 patients:
- Older people who have high levels of C-reactive protein lowered their risk of heart disease and death.
- People who have a family history of heart problems also benefited from Crestor therapy.
- Individuals without family histories of coronary disease or high levels of C-reactive protein but with metabolic syndrome experienced no statistical change from taking Crestor.
Interpreting Studies and Results
Metabolic syndrome makes it more likely that you will have a stroke, heart attack or develop adult-onset diabetes. The condition alone doesn’t cause symptoms or problems. If your family has a history of coronary disease or the history is unknown, then taking Crestor seems a viable treatment that lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Reversing plaque buildup in the arteries generates important health benefits, so Crestor treatment is indicated for people suffering with arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Many drug manufacturers used the Jupiter study to justify other brands of statins, but proprietary drugs must be evaluated separately because the side effects and results vary widely. Statins generate side effects that include mild aches, muscle damage and liver or kidney problems, so starting with a low dose and monitoring blood is essential.
Since one out of three deaths is caused by heart disease, treating the risk factors for heart problems seems justified. Dr. Paul Ridker of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, which is based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, published a paper in 2012 that concluded the cardiovascular benefits of taking statins exceed the risks of other problems including people who are prone to developing diabetes.