Preventive Cardiology

America’s CKM Syndrome Problem

A new JAMA study revealed that a shocking 90% of US adults are at risk of developing cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic (CKM) syndrome, underscoring the need for preventative action before we face a wave of CKM-related heart disease.

  • Officially published by the AHA six months ago, CKM syndrome defines the connections and risks associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers analyzed 2011-2020 NHANES survey results and laboratory measurements from 10,762 nationally representative US adults (47.3yr avg. age, 51.8% women, 64.4% White) to assess their CKM stages, finding the following breakdown:

  • Stage 0 (no risk factors) – 10.6%
  • Stage 1 (overweight, prediabetes) – 25.9%
  • Stage 2 (metabolic risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, CKD) – 49%
  • Stage 3 (kidney disease or high cardiovascular risks) – 5.4%
  • Stage 4 (heart disease, with or without kidney disease) – 9.2%

In other words, half of US adults have moderate CKM syndrome risks (Stage 2), and nearly a sixth of adult Americans already have advanced CKM syndrome (Stages 3 & 4). Yikes.

These rates stayed relatively stable throughout the study period, while certain groups were far more likely to have advanced stage CKM syndrome including those older than 65 (55.3% vs. 10.7% in 45-64yrs), men (16.9% vs. 12.4% in Women), and Black people (18.9% vs. 13.8% in Whites).

The Takeaway

Many Cardiac Wire readers shouldn’t be surprised by these numbers, noting the mounting evidence that diabetes, obesity, and hypertension rates are skyrocketing. However, the fact that 90% of US adults have high CKM syndrome risks is still shocking, and underscores the urgent need to improve CKM prevention and care.

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