Bahar Endowed Lecture: Metabolic Syndrome

October 1, 2019

The disease with many names – metabolic syndrome – affects a growing number of Americans. Otherwise known as Syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome, Reaven syndrome, dysmetabolic syndrome, cardiometabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, hypertension, adult onset diabetes, obesity and stroke, and the deadly quartet.

Dr. Robert Osburne, an endocrinologist and faculty member at the College of Community Health Sciences, spoke about the manifestations and management of metabolic syndrome at the David and Natica Bahar Memorial Lecture hosted September 6 by the College.Dr. Robert Osburne

Metabolic syndrome is defined by the presence of two or more abnormalities in the levels of glucose, HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol, triglycerides, hypertension and obesity, according to most medically defined parameters.

Metabolic syndrome often goes hand-in-hand with Type 2 diabetes. Obesity is one of the most common risk factors for both of these serious diseases. Type 2 diabetes is the most common disease that endocrinologists like Osburne see in their practice.

Osburne cares for patients at University Medical Center, which is operated by the College.

Osburne said that recent developments in technology, labor saving machinery and access to high-caloric foods has played a significant role in the rise of obesity around the world. The increased number of obese individuals has then contributed to the rise in preventable weight-related diseases.

In the US alone, 84 million people are living with pre-diabetes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That has a lasting economic effect as well. The annual cost of diabetes treatments in the US has risen by 26% in five years to $327 billion.

Osburne reiterated the need to encourage patients to maintain a healthy weight, but cited many barriers to treatment, such as age, genetics, cultural bias, access to quality health care, cost of treatment and the difficulty of maintaining radical lifestyle changes.

The College’s endowed lecture series, which provides Continuing Medical Education for physicians and other health professionals, is designed to help medical professionals and learners look at past cases and learn from the investigative process. The Bahar lecture was established in 1987 by the late Dr. David Bahar in memory of his wife. The lecture seeks to promote the quality and practice of internal medicine at CCHS by annually supporting a distinguished lecturer in internal medicine.