Pathophysiology and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Progression of Metabolic Syndrome

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Disparities exist in the U.S. between the health status of African American and Hispanic individuals and the health status of non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals across all age groups. Those minority individuals age 55 and over are more likely to suffer from specific health disparities in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than their white majority counterparts. Among the most common chronic disorders experienced within this age group are obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all three of which collectively form what has recently become known as metabolic syndrome. As of 2004, metabolic syndrome is diagnosable once criteria are ... continued below

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O'Neill, Amy E. August 2006.

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  • O'Neill, Amy E.

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Disparities exist in the U.S. between the health status of African American and Hispanic individuals and the health status of non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals across all age groups. Those minority individuals age 55 and over are more likely to suffer from specific health disparities in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than their white majority counterparts. Among the most common chronic disorders experienced within this age group are obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all three of which collectively form what has recently become known as metabolic syndrome. As of 2004, metabolic syndrome is diagnosable once criteria are clinically significant for a variety of different risk factors designated by the World Health Organization. However, like many syndromes these criteria are not stable across individuals, and leaves variability between individuals being diagnosed. It has been seen that each of the above mentioned racial/ethnic groups experience the individual risk factors at disproportionate rates, making it plausible that metabolic syndrome could be experienced in distinctly different ways depending upon racial/ethnic background. Using two nationally representative data sets, it is first largely evident that African American and Hispanic individuals are reaching higher peak rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease much earlier in age than are non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals. The study goes on to reveals that the metabolic syndrome appears to follow one underlying progressive syndrome that begins with obesity and progresses towards heart disease. Each of the racial/ethnic groups experience significantly different progressions of the syndrome across time. Behavioral analysis found significant differences in health behaviors across the three groups; however a more pervasive lack of initiative in practicing preventive health behaviors is also present. The study achieved a higher understanding of individual differences within metabolic syndrome and insight into how and at what time in the lifespan health services can be most beneficial in providing preventive services to culturally diverse populations.

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  • August 2006

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  • May 5, 2008, 2:53 p.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2014, 1:27 p.m.

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O'Neill, Amy E. Pathophysiology and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Progression of Metabolic Syndrome, dissertation, August 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5310/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .