What is metabolic syndrome?
Early identification of metabolic syndrome allows the individual to make lifestyle changes which may prevent these illnesses from permanently taking hold.
Metabolic syndrome occurs when a person presents abdominal obesity (waist circumference of more than 94 cm for men and 80 cm for women) combined with at least two of the following factors:
- Elevated triglycerides
- Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Above-normal blood sugar level, without true diabetes
An important disorder often associated with metabolic syndrome is Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis (NASH), which combines steatosis (excess accumulation of fat in the liver) and elevated liver enzymes. Patients with metabolic syndrome are systematically tested for NASH because it commonly leads to hepatic fibrosis (due to chronic irritation of the liver). After several years, this may progress to cirrhosis, and eventually liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).
Screening for and treating these conditions is therefore essential. The American Hospital of Paris is currently conducting research on metabolic syndrome and its hepatic and cardiovascular complications in particular.