Metabolic syndrome significantly inflates medical costs, study finds

Kyodo

The average yearly medical cost for people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome is as much as ¥120,000 more than for those without the condition, a government study has found.

While the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry study didn’t examine specific names of diseases that caused the medical cost rise, officials said lifestyle-related diseases such as high blood pressure likely pushed costs higher.

The ministry assessed the annual medical costs of 2.69 million people, aged 40 to 74, who were checked for metabolic syndrome in fiscal 2009 and found that the medical costs for men aged 40 to 49 diagnosed with the syndrome were around ¥100,000 higher than other men in that age group.

Among women between the ages of 70 and 74, the difference was around ¥90,000 between those who were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and those who were not.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of such symptoms as problems with cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. It is likely to eventually lead to a stroke, heart attack and diabetes.

The ministry hopes that the higher medical costs associated with metabolic syndrome will induce people to improve their living habits, including getting enough exercise.