Study leader D.M. Boudreau of United BioSource in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues said metabolic syndrome -- including obesity, high blood pressure and elevated fats in the blood -- can place a person at high risk for heart disease.
The study also compared the annual healthcare costs for subjects who had both diabetes and metabolic syndrome risk factors and found them to be nearly double the costs for people without diabetes but with similar risk factors for metabolic syndrome --$8,067 versus $4,638.
The two-year study involved 170,000 men and women -- of whom 58 percent had risk factors for metabolic syndrome, Boudreau said.
The researchers' findings are published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.