Metabolic syndrome, the “well-being killer”
The metabolic syndrome is defined as the “silent killer of well-being” because it often coincides with a condition of complete psycho-physical well-being of the patient. In most cases it is detected randomly in the screening and can manifest itself clinically in the most varied ways: overweight, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, arterial hypertension, ischemic heart disease, hepatic steatosis. These single pathologies affecting different organs, heart, liver, kidney, arterial vessels, must be considered in their complexity. And when detected they must lead to a global approach to the problem. Dr. Ilja Gardi, cardiologist at Maria Cecilia Hospital in Cotignola (RA) and Chairman of the panel “Metabolic syndrome: silent disease of well-being” at the eighth edition of the Medical Science Festival, he explains to “Affaritaliani” this still little known pathology.
Metabolic syndrome, a still poorly understood pathology
Why is metabolic syndrome called the “silent killer of well-being”? “The metabolic syndrome is the true planetary endemic pandemic. The meaning of “silent killer” refers to the fact that a large part of these patients (about 30%) have sudden events without warning symptoms, primarily sudden coronary death, in the age group between 50 and 75 years”. What is the impact worldwide and in Italy? “In Italy, the disease in the silent phase affects about half of the general population over 50 with about 45,000 sudden deaths per year”. What are the causes of the development of metabolic syndrome?“The main causes are social, demographic and behavioral, in addition to family genetic causes. In the demographic aggregates of large urban megalopolises the disease manifests itself about 10/15 times more than in smaller or rural social contexts. Absolute poverty once was. characterized by morphological profiles of malnutrition, while today, especially in large urban centers where more than half of the world population lives, one of the indices of poverty is obesity and severe metabolic disorder. If we consider that by 2050, 75% of the population world will live in the contest of large megalopolises, one can imagine what will happen to this ever-growing disease-syndrome “.
Metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease as the main risk
What are the cardiac risks of the syndrome in particular? “The main risk of metabolic syndrome is cardiovascular disease and this is the very manifestation of the syndrome itself. Almost all patients with metabolic syndrome fall ill or are hospitalized and sometimes die from cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, aneurysms and dissections of the aorta, severe obstructive pathologies of the lower limbs with frequent amputations, venous thrombosis and consequent pulmonary embolisms. How can it be prevented? Metabolic disease now has clear and consolidated paradigms of primary prevention and therefore in effective prevention it is necessary, from elementary school, to combat obesity, recommend regular physical activity, not to smoke and to urge social communities, in particular those with a high demographic concentration, to an active life and socialization counteracting diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and a sedentary lifestyle “. What are the tools used in the medical field to counter the increase in cases? “Primary prevention is a cultural tool that must be activated in the educational processes of society, first of all at school. Today, the diagnosis and evaluation of present but silent metabolic disease, and therefore of cardiovascular disease tout court, is the so-called high precision predictive medicine which consists in a complete diagnostic approach of patients at risk, even mild, of metabolic disease or cardiovascular disease.