Dr. Luigi Bouchard
Dr. Luigi Bouchard is hunting the genes that cause metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome – found primarily in overweight or obese people – is a condition that increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Clinical studies suggest that metabolic syndrome might double or even triple the risk of dying from heart disease. It may affect more than 20 per cent of Canadians.
Metabolic syndrome, or insulin resistance syndrome as it is sometimes called, is dentified by the presence of three or more cardiovascular risk factors from a list of five. Each risk factor may be only slightly elevated, but taken together should ring alarm bells.
These cardiovascular risk factors are:
- Abdominal obesity (waist circumference greater than 102 cm and 88 cm for men and women respectively)
- A fasting glucose level between 6.2 and 7.0 mmol/L (insulin resistance)
- Blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/85 mmHg
- Elevated levels of triglycerides (blood fats) – greater than or equal to 1.7 mmol/L
- Low levels of blood HDL (good) cholesterol (men and women lower than 1.0 mmol/L and 1.3 mmol/L respectively)
Dr. Bouchard’s gene research may lead to early warning diagnostic tests and new treatments for people at high risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Dr. Bouchard is a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre de recherche sur les maladies lipidiques, Université Laval. His supervisor is Dr. Marie-Claude Vohl. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and sanofi-aventis congratulate Dr. Bouchard, whose work will aid in the prevention and treatment of heart disease and related risk factors.
Supported by sanofi-aventis