By "deadly quartet" or metabolic syndrome (also known as: Reavan syndrome or syndrome X) is meant the common occurrence of obesity, lipid metabolism disorders, hypertension and insulin resistance. The Dangers of the Metabolic Syndrome: Any disease itself poses a risk for severe vascular disease - but when these diseases occur in combination, they become more pronounced. The "deadly quartet" is the biggest risk factor for atherosclerotic complications and as a result of serious vascular disease.
Illness without acute symptoms
The "deadly quartet" should then be spoken when three of the four cardinal disorders are present. The problem: All these illnesses proceed without pain and acute symptoms. Therefore, often too late the doctor is consulted and the treatment often begins only when irreparable damage already exists.
Patients with a metabolic syndrome are high-risk patients. For example, a diabetic has the same risk of dying of a heart attack as a patient who has already had a heart attack.
Metabolic syndrome: problems in recognition
Another problem: The development of the individual components of the metabolic syndrome varies with time. So you often see only the individual diseases, but not the danger of all disorders.
And: If a disease appears, the vessels can already be significantly damaged. Thus, only the tip of the iceberg is seen. An example of this: Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease often appear late.
Metabolic syndrome and its causes
The most important causes of atherosclerosis are, in addition to high blood pressure, a hereditary predisposition, incorrect diet and associated obesity and lipid metabolism disorders, as well as metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and its precursor, insulin resistance. Obesity is often the key pacemaker function.
Very important is an early and appropriate treatment of each disease and a change in lifestyle.
Definition of the metabolic syndrome according to the WHO
- Obesity> 88 cm Waist circumference for women> 102 cm Waist circumference for men
- HDL cholesterol <50 mg% women, <40 mg% men
- Triglycerides> 150 mg%
- Blood pressure> 130/85 mmHg
- Fasting blood glucose> 110 mg%