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Metabolic Syndrome: Lowering Your Heart Disease Risk

For people with metabolic syndrome, the risk of developing heart disease can be a concern. Here’s how you can help keep your heart healthy:

  • Control high blood pressure. One characteristic of metabolic syndrome in adults is when one or both blood pressure numbers are higher than 130/85 mm Hg. Blood pressure numbers of 140/90 mm Hg or higher are considered high blood pressure, or hypertension. To keep your numbers down:

    • Lose weight, if needed.

    • Limit saturated fat, salt, and cholesterol in your diet.

    • Get regular exercise.

    • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.

    • Take any prescribed medication as directed.

  • Keep your cholesterol in check. Having high blood cholesterol increases the risk for heart disease. High levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol or triglycerides are risk factors. It’s possible to have only a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which by itself can lead to heart disease.

  • If you need cholesterol-lowering medication, take it as prescribed. The same steps that help control blood pressure can help keep cholesterol in line.

  • Control your type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a common part of metabolic syndrome. The same steps that help control blood pressure can help keep your blood glucose under control.