Cardiometabolic Risk is clustering of various risk factors, which put an individual at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also includes the abdominal obesity (the visceral obesity) and several other markers that have not been considered traditionally while defining overall risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiometabolic risk is not something different from Metabolic Syndrome; neither it has been coined to replace Metabolic Syndrome. We have known that metabolic syndrome involves insulin resistance, obesity in terms of large waist, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol. Cardiometabolic Risk includes, in addition to all these risk factors, high LDL cholesterol, Inflammation (high C-reactive protein), smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, some psychosocial issues like stress and depression and high blood glucose, in addition to race, gender, age and family history.
All of these together and also each one of these independently increase the risk of disease and other related complications. So, cardiometabolic risk is a global risk condition involving all these markers that increase an individual’s overall risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Therefore, it is very important to detect, treat and control for these factors well in time, before it is too late. Lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, regular exercise/ physical activity, healthy diet, quitting smoking, all have benefits in terms of reducing the risk. We must understand that improvement in any one of these health markers results in improvement in other markers because our body does not work in isolation. Similarly, when there is any one of these risk factors present in a person, there could be other related conditions also that have not been diagnosed. So, clinicians should screen patients during their regular visits for any or all of these risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
How will the screening help?
This will help them:
1. Understand the comprehensive picture of their patient’s overall health and alert them about any possible future health condition.
2. Facilitate better communication with their patient to make better clinical decisions, one they have identified different markers.
3. Intervene at an early stage, as we know that conditions like insulin resistance and hyperglycemia occur long before the clinical diagnosis of diabetes.
Routine screening and early assessment may help both the physician and their patient work together to address important lifestyle changes like healthy eating, qutting smoking if they smoke, include 30 minutes or more of exercise or physical activity of any kind 5 days a week, to avoid risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Such assessments provide great tools to clinicians and their patients for a comprehensive and broader management of different health conditions, especially for cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk.