ANNOUNCER: Doctors say there are five key metabolic abnormalities frequently found in the US population. These are: high blood pressure, poor blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance. When a person has any three of these problems, they are said to suffer from metabolic syndrome, and they are at high risk for disease.
JACQUELINE SALAS-SPIEGEL, MD: The metabolic syndrome is definitely associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. That means an increased risk of heart attack, an increased risk of stroke and other vascular complications. It's also very strongly associated with diabetes.
ANNOUNCER: When a person has insulin resistance, leading to elevated blood sugar levels, but not yet to the point of diabetes, he or she is said to be prediabetic.
ASTRID ALMODOVAR, MD: Prediabetes would be the in-between. You are not normal, but you are not the full-blown diabetic yet. Prediabetes is just stage one or stage two of diabetes. It's part of a continuum, and we've just caught it at a different time.
ANNOUNCER: Prediabetes becomes diabetes when blood sugar levels reach certain defined values. The complications that follow can be serious.
JACQUELINE SALAS-SPIEGEL, MD: In patients with Type 2 diabetes, the major complications can really be put into two groups. There are microvascular and macrovascular complications; that means small-vessel complications and large-vessel complications.