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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 is when one or both blood pressure numbers are higher than 130/85 mm Hg. According to the American Heart Association, 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, or hypercholesterolemia, increases the risk for heart disease. A high level of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol or triglycerides are risk factors. It’s possible to have a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which 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.