Metabolic Syndrome Reaches Epidemic Level

Manila Bulletin, July 6, 2004 | Go to article overview

Metabolic Syndrome Reaches Epidemic Level


LONDON Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of common metabolic disorders including obesity, pre-diabetes, abnormal lipid levels and high blood pressure, is now approaching epidemic proportions worldwide. A new report from independent market analyst Datamonitor (DTM.L) reveals that a total of 115 million individuals suffer from this syndrome in the US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

According to Datamonitor, this number is set to increase rapidly, fuelled by the rising obesity and diabetes epidemic. Significant though it is, the metabolic syndrome patient population remains poorly diagnosed and there are no drugs currently available to treat all components of metabolic syndrome.

Lifestyle changes are recommended as first line therapy, however the proposed lifestyle counseling and support necessary may not always be directly applicable. As such, there is urgent need for single pill combination therapy and drugs to treat multiple conditions that constitute metabolic syndrome. AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb are both in prime position to profit from this lucrative market.

Metabolic syndrome was first described in 1988 as the link between high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, unhealthy blood cholesterol, and problems that could lead to cardiovascular disease, premature coronary artery disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is now reaching epidemic levels. Up to one in four U.S. adults aged over 20 have such a cluster of risk factors.

Physician awareness of metabolic syndrome has greatly grown over the years, but there still remains a gap in awareness between specialists and GPs. According to Datamonitor, this is, in part, due to the lack of consensus among the bodies involved in creating awareness about the condition, with regards to its definition and the guidelines that govern diagnosis and treatment. In Datamonitors view, there is also a need for a clear strong public health message to grow consumer awareness of the consequences of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. …

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