Cardiometabolic Risk

Condition

What is cardiometabolic risk?

The term cardiometabolic risk describes a person’s chances of having a cardiovascular event such as heart attack or stroke when one or more risk factors are present. Some major risk factors include:

Each of these risk factors is dangerous on its own, but a combination greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Who is at risk?

 People with the risk factors above can have higher risk of cardiovascular disease.  The severity of these risk factors and the number of them, impacts how high that risk is.  Other conditions that can potentially increase risk for heart disease include kidney disease, inflammatory diseases (ex. rheumatoid arthritis), family history of early heart disease or stroke, and early menopause.  Certain ethnic groups may also have a higher risk for heart disease.

It is important to discuss risk factors with your doctor so they can help give you an estimate of your risk for developing a heart attack or stroke, and so that they can work with you to minimize that risk.  

Cardiometabolic Risks Factors

Danger Zones Where You Want to Be
Obesity: BMI 25-29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI >30 is considered obese.  A body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9 for normal weight. (BMI is calculated from your height and weight.)
LDL greater than 100 mg/dl.            Less than 70 mg/dl.
HDL less than 40 mg/dl in men and less than 50 mg/dl in women.
Greater than 40 mg/dl in men and 50 mg/dl in women.
Triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dl Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dl
Blood pressure greater than 130/80
Recommended: Systolic less Blood pressure less than 130/80
Fasting blood glucose greater than 100 mg/dl or already diagnosed type 2 diabetes
Blood glucose after an 8-hour fast less than 100 mg/dl

How is cardiometabolic risk treated?

In order to reduce cardiovascular risk, it is important to improve any risk factors that can be modified.  For instance, if an individual has diabetes, maintaining good control of the diabetes is important for minimizing risk. Changes in diet, exercise, and lifestyle are the first steps toward weight loss for people who are overweight or obese. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best management options for you depending upon your risk factors and degree of cardiometabolic risk.

How can you lower your risk of cardiovascular problems?

One of the best things you can do to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For example, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, smoking cessation, and avoiding excess alcohol are all important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

If you think you may have one or more of the risk factors described above, talk with your doctor to determine your cardiometabolic risk and decide on best options for management.

Questions to ask your healthcare team:

  • Am I at risk for cardiometabolic problems?
  • Which risk factors do I have?
  • What can I do to lower my risk?
  • What are my options for treatment, including lifestyle changes and medications?
  • What are the risks and benefits of each of my options?
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