Cardiometabolic Risk: Intro, Evaluation and Management

The world today is diagnosed with epidemic of obesity. It affects kids and adults alike. This epidemic has resulted into far troubling health dilemma—the cardiometabolic risk.

Cardiometabolic risk is defined as the collective impact of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity and other risks put together. These common risk factors have been singled out by a study to have a significant and negative effect in the health related quality of life in the United States.

Cardiometabolic Risk in a Capsule

The CMR or the cardiometabolic risk is a construct of clustered risk factors which can be an indicator of a patient’s overall risk for type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These things if not detected early or evaluated at most will pose a great health risk in forms of even worse conditions.

Cardiometabolic risk has become the focus of most government funded studies today since it has affected a large part of the population. Most of the health organizations who are concerned for the condition involve services which include systematic evaluation, education, lifestyle behavioral changes, disease and condition prevention as well as treatment of the risk.

What Risk Factors Increases CMR?

    1. Obesity. Obesity is described in Wikipedia as the medical condition wherein fats gets accumulated in the body to excess that it results to some health problems. Obesity may result to adverse health effects and is the major factor in CMR. The US has recorded 33.8% of its population to be suffering from obesity. This condition resulted to heart diseases, stroke and type two diabetes. This is not only widespread among adults though but with children as well. Obesity doesn’t only affects the health but it even contributes to the world’s mortality rate. In the WHO’s statistics, at least 2.8 million people die each year due to the condition.
    2. Insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that your body may not be using insulin effectively as it should. This is especially true in the case of the muscle and liver usage. Insulin resistance manifests when the pancreas releases more insulin than normal to help maintain the blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance and diabetes can be found in a large part of the population.
    3. High Cholesterol. The higher your cholesterol the higher you may have the risk for heart disease.
    4. Hyperglycemia. When so much glucose revolves around your body, then the hyperglycemia condition may set in. This can be a serious medical problem among people with diabetes or can be factor in developing the condition.
    5. Dyslipoproteinemia. This condition happens when the body’s lipoprotein is abnormally high. The condition increases the risk of vascular disease even though the total amount of cholesterol isn’t increased.

Other Factors worth Considering

Although the above factors are the major ones, there are still other least important factors that plays a role in CMR and shouldn’t be overlooked.

    1. Lead Exposure. Increase in lead exposure can lead to increase of CVD risk.
    2. Celiac Disease, leaky Gut. People with celiac disease or leaky gut also may have increased risk of developing CVD.
    3. Artificial sweeteners. The intake of artificial sweeteners, risk of obesity is increased as well as the risk of diabetes.
    4. Statin Drugs. Statin drugs are known for CVD prevention but it may actually increase diabetes risk among menopausal women.
    5. Altered Gut Flora.  Altered gut flora seems like farfetched risk in the CMR, there is an evidence that microbial ecosystem in the GI tract can increase CMR.

Other factors include:

    • Smoking
    • Age, race and ethnicity
    • Hypertension
    • Physical inactivity
    • Inflammation

Evaluation of CMR

CMR can be diagnosed though physical and medical evaluation. But most medical institution has problems in the diagnosis of the risk factors since there is little to no availability of evaluation initiative from patients and local health units.

Some single risk factor also cannot be discriminated between those who will develop it or who will not. This lead to broad interpretation of diabetes risk. In the CVD risk though, it can be specific since there are already proactive evaluation and treatments available.

The most involved professional for the evaluation is the primary physician of the patient. Although there is a little percentage if pre-diabetic patients who really develop the disease, still most doctors deemed it necessary to address CMR not only for Diabetes alone.

Treatment and Management of CMR

Cardio metabolic risk can be prevented and managed. The primary focus of most treatments and preventive management may include the addressing of the primary concerns which involves the dyslipoproteinemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Here are some tips for that.

    1. Measure waist circumference regularly to detect cardiometabolic risk among adults and children. That is because the abdominal fat can be the first indication of CMR. The regular measurement of waistline can help.
    2. Diet modification. Diet modification can better ones CMR and help in its prevention.
    3. Daily exercise. Daily exercise can reduce waistline and can help manage sugar levels and can benefit the heart.
    4. Treating dyslipidaemia.
    5. Antihyperglycaemic therapies
    6. Treatment of obesity through medications like orlistat or sibutramine.
    7. Medication for CMR in form of Rimonabant.

There are lots of ways to manage CMR. Treating multiple cardiometabolic risk factors is even possible.  Primary physicians may even give patients the multidisciplinary approach one can choose from. Intensive intervention ad well as consistent lifestyle change can make a vast difference in the condition.
Image Credit: tienvijftien via Flickr

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