People who are obese and have type 2 diabetes in their 20s will be at higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke in their 40s if they do not change their lifestyle.
"If your blood pressure is 136/88 and you're a man with a waist over 40 or a woman with a waist over 35 it spells trouble," said Dr. Dale J. Hamilton, diabetes clinical services chief at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. "These are two of the five symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a problem that can lead to type 2 diabetes. All you need is three to begin seeing increased atherosclerosis."
High triglyceride levels over 150, insulin resistance and a low HDL (good cholesterol) are factors of metabolic syndrome, along with high blood pressure and central obesity. According to the American Heart Association more than 47 million Americans have it. Many of these patients will end up suffering with type 2 diabetes, which can eventually lead to coronary artery disease and stroke.