Take proactive steps to get ahead of four connected chronic conditions

Cardiovascular disease (heart and blood vessel disease), diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease are some of the most common chronic conditions in the US. They’re also all connected – and can impact your health if not detected and treated early.

Discover more about these connections and see how effective dialogue with a healthcare provider and simple health screenings from a trusted partner like Labcorp can give you the answers you need to take control of your health.

What are cardiometabolic diseases?

Cardiometabolic diseases are a group of common and often preventable chronic diseases that affect your cardiovascular system (heart and circulation or blood vessels) and your metabolic health.

Let’s focus on four main connected cardiometabolic conditions:

  • Cardiovascular diseases involve the heart and blood vessels, including conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and vascular diseases 1
  • Diabetes is a chronic health condition in which either the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin to allow cells to use sugar for energy or the cells do not respond to insulin properly 2
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can result from any condition that damages the kidneys, decreasing their ability to filter waste from the blood, which may eventually lead to kidney failure 3
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a more severe type of NAFLD that also includes inflammation and liver damage and is unrelated to alcohol intake 4

Many people may not be aware that they have a cardiometabolic condition because they don’t have any symptoms. Identifying these conditions early on, even before symptoms develop, is key to protecting your health.

More than 80%

of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. 5

9 out of 10

people with kidney disease don’t know they have kidney damage. 6

The good news: These diseases can be prevented or delayed

You have the power to change the course of your health. For example, diabetes can be reversed in some patients, and kidney disease can be slowed to a point where progression to kidney failure can be prevented for some patients.7,8

Managing these disorders often starts with lifestyle changes, including weight loss, exercise, healthy eating and quitting smoking. Sometimes, prescription medicines are also necessary to get cardiometabolic diseases under control.

How are these conditions connected?

Cardiometabolic diseases affect parts of the body that rely on each other to keep you healthy. When one organ is damaged or under stress, other body functions also can break down, leading to additional chronic diseases.

For example, if you have diabetes, high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control your heart over time, leading to heart disease. 11 Or if you already have heart disease, your heart may not be pumping efficiently, leading to congestion of blood in the kidneys and eventual kidney damage. 12

Risk factors for connected conditions

Cardiometabolic diseases share common risk factors:

  • Age9
  • Family history9
  • Health habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, unhealthy diets, obesity, and inactive lifestyles9
  • Metabolic factors:10
    • High blood glucose (sugar)
    • Low levels of high-density lipoprotein— HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the blood
    • High levels of triglycerides in the blood Large waist circumference or “appleshaped” body
    • High blood pressure

To improve your health, it’s important to get your risk factors under control before they lead to worsening health or further complications.

A single cardiometabolic condition may lead to others

Being diagnosed with one cardiometabolic disease increases your risk of developing another one – and raises the likelihood of poor health outcomes.13

Take control using the information from health screenings

By taking proactive steps, you can help to prevent chronic diseases from getting out of control. The earlier you know about your risk factors or the presence of a disease, the sooner you can get the care you need to reverse, stop or slow down your conditions.

An easy way to understand your true risk is through a simple health screening. With a blood or urine test, doctors can accurately screen for undiagnosed conditions to detect problems even before symptoms develop. For example, an HbA1C test can assess your blood sugar level and help identify diabetes. Two tests that measure how well your kidneys are functioning (eGFR and uACR) can detect kidney disease in its earliest stages.

Without these tests, it’s possible to miss identifying some diseases, especially if you are not showing any symptoms.

Make an action plan

How can you get ahead of your cardiometabolic risk? Start with a conversation with your doctor. Together you can make informed decisions about adjusting your lifestyle risk factors.

Ask your doctor whether screening for chronic disease or risk factors should be part of your routine visit. Your whole healthcare team is there to guide you down the path toward better health. All you have to do is take the first step.

Questions to ask during a doctor’s visit

  • Am I at risk for cardiometabolic disease?
  • Should I be tested for cardiometabolic diseases?
  • [If you have already been diagnosed with a cardiometabolic disease] Should I be tested for additional cardiometabolic diseases?
  • Did previous tests show any early indications of cardiometabolic disease? If so, are there additional tests I should do?

Labcorp makes it easier for you to get the answers you need

The path to better health starts with you. As a trusted healthcare partner, Labcorp is here to provide testing insights and education to help guide clinical decisions. We’ll help unravel the connections between chronic diseases so you and your doctor can focus on your care.

Get comprehensive testing options

Our tests for diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and liver disease integrate the latest screening guidelines to help your doctor identify your risk or make an accurate diagnosis.

Empower your decisions

You can choose to have your doctor use Labcorp to process your lab tests. All you have to do is make your preference known at your appointment.

Access convenient testing 

Get tested right at a doctor’s office or nearby patient service center.

Manage your health in one place

Get lab results, track your health history, manage appointments and pay your Labcorp bills—all through the Labcorp Patient Portal.

With Labcorp testing results, you can get the answers you need to change your health habits, get the right treatments and improve your health.



  1. American Heart Association. What is cardiovascular disease? Accessed February 2023. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumerhealthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is diabetes? Accessed February 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/ diabetes/basics/diabetes.html
  3. National Kidney Foundation. Chronic kidney disease. Accessed February 2023. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronickidney-disease
  4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) & NASH. Accessed February 2023. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes – your chance to prevent type 2 diabetes. Accessed February 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevent-type-2/index.html
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic kidney disease in the United States, 2021. Accessed February 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/ckd-national-facts.html
  7. Hallberg SJ, Gershuni VM, Hazbun TL, Athinarayanan SJ. Reversing type 2 diabetes: a narrative review of the evidence. Nutrients. 2019;11(4):766.
  8. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Slow progression & reduce complications. Accessed February 2023. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/professionals/ clinical-tools-patient-management/kidney-disease/identify-manage-patients/manage-ckd/slow-progression-reduce-complications
  9. Brunzell J, Davidson M, Furberg CD, et al. Lipoprotein Management in Patients With Cardiometabolic Risk: Consensus Conference Report From the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;51(15):1512-1524.
  10. American Heart Association. What is metabolic syndrome? Accessed February 2023. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/about-metabolic-syndrome
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes and your heart. Accessed February 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-and-heart.html
  12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The surprising link between chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Accessed May 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/linkbetween-ckd-diabetes-heart-disease.html
  13.  Kendir C, van den Akker M, Vos R, Metsemakers J. Cardiovascular disease patients have increased risk for comorbidity: a cross-sectional study in the Netherlands. Eur J Gen Pract. 2018;24(1):45-50.