Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of factors like central obesity,hypertension,high blood sugars and high lipid levels in an individual.This syndrome is a major public health problem as it a risk factor for ischemic heart disease.

A recent study published in the Journal of Association Of Physicians of India has revealed an alarming situation.Nearly 40% of the elderly urban Indians have metabolic syndrome and it is strongly associated with coronary artery disease.

This study was conducted in Chennai and  involved a door to door survey of 26,001 individuals who were more than 60 years of age.Anthropometric measurements like weight,height,waist and hip measurements were taken along with blood pressure measurements.Estimations of blood sugars,fasting lipids,insulin levels was done.Diagnosis of ischemic heart disease was made by a resting 12 lead ECG and a past history of documented heart attack.

Results revealed that metabolic syndrome was identified in about 40 % of these individuals by the recommended criteria.This study is the first estimate of the burden of this syndrome in the elderly subjects in India.In persons with metabolic syndrome,intervention strategies for control of hypertension,high blood sugars and high lipids along with weight reduction would lead to a decrease in subsequent heart disease risk.These strategies include regular exercise,diet modification and strict control of high blood pressure with compliance to medications.This requires an active participation of the family members and care takers.

Implementation of these strategies is especially important in the elderly population as they are at increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome due to age related changes in the blood vessels ,heart,liver,kidneys and various parts of the body.

So act now and control this alarming situation which threatens the precious community of our society!