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New Heart Condition Identified: Are You at Risk?

New Heart Condition Identified: Are You at Risk?

A new advisory from heart health experts looks at the strong connection and overlapping effects of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. The result? A new condition called cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic (CKM) syndrome.

About 40% of adults in the U.S. have multiple chronic health conditions, and early diagnosis and proper management and treatment are so important. It’s similar to a snowball effect. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are at all-time highs in the U.S. These metabolic conditions in turn make you more at risk for heart disease, which is the most common cause of death for people with Type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

There’s been a lot of progress with newer medications that can successfully treat the conditions that make up CKM, so the goal is to catch it early and reduce the number of people who progress to heart disease.

With CKM, nearly every major organ is affected, overall affecting the blood vessels, heart muscles, fatty buildup in arteries, and electrical impulses in the heart. The syndrome is broken out into stages, from 0 where there are no risk factors, to 4, which could mean experiencing kidney failure or already having had a heart attack. Stage 1 will likely apply to many people, as it includes those who have excess body weight, more body fat around the abdomen, or prediabetes. At this stage, the main recommendation would be a 5% or more weight loss through lifestyle changes.

The advisory also issued suggested updates on how to gauge a person’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke, including using the existing risk tool in people as young as 30. Experts also suggest calculating both 10- and 30-year cardiovascular risk and expanding the risk tool to predict for heart failure.

See your doctor regularly for wellness exam and to get all your levels checked. And talk about your risk and what action steps to take to reduce it. Maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle, plus no smoking or alcohol, are the best ways to reduce your risk across the board.