ADA, European Association Challenge Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome
The diagnosis "metabolic syndrome" is ill defined, relies on questionable evidence and could keep doctors from focusing on better established heart disease risks, the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes said in a joint statement in the September issue of Diabetes Care, USA Today reports. Abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol abnormalities and impaired glucose tolerance are the risk factors that constitute the syndrome (Sternberg, USA Today, 8/26).
The groups said that doctors should not diagnose metabolic syndrome or prescribe drugs for it because independently it might not affect the probability of developing heart disease, the Washington Post reports. The groups said that doctors should treat each symptom individually (Washington Post, 8/26). ADA said that each condition individually is potentially life threatening and that there is no evidence to suggest that someone with several risk factors is any sicker than someone who has one of the symptoms alone (USA Today, 8/26). An abstract for the statement can be found online.