What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is
a group of health problems that include too much
fat around the waist , elevated blood pressure,
high triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and low HDL cholesterol.
Together, this group of health problems increases
your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
What causes metabolic syndrome?
is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle that includes eating too many calories,
being inactive, and gaining weight, particularly
around your waist . This lifestyle can lead to
insulin resistance, a condition in which the body is
unable to respond normally to insulin. If you have insulin resistance, your
body cannot use insulin properly, and your blood sugar will begin to rise. Over
time, this can lead to
type 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
If you have metabolic
syndrome, you have several disorders of the metabolism at the same time,
including obesity (usually around your waist), high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, and resistance to insulin.
Why is metabolic syndrome important?
This syndrome raises your risk for
coronary artery disease (CAD), even beyond that caused
by high LDL cholesterol alone.1
What increases your chance of developing metabolic syndrome?
The things that make you more likely to develop
metabolic syndrome include:1
- Insulin resistance. This means that
your body cannot use insulin properly.
- Abdominal obesity. This means having
too much fat around your waist.
Your chances of developing metabolic syndrome increase as you get
- Lack of exercise. If you do not exercise, you are more
likely to be obese and develop metabolic syndrome.
imbalance. A hormone disorder such as
polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which
the female body produces too much of certain hormones, is associated with
- Family history of type 2 diabetes. Having
parents or close relatives with diabetes is associated with metabolic
- A history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
- Race and ethnicity.
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific
Islanders are at higher risk than whites for type 2 diabetes.
How is metabolic syndrome diagnosed?
can diagnose metabolic syndrome with a physical exam, your medical history, and
some simple blood tests.
You may be diagnosed with metabolic
syndrome if you have three or more of the risk factors listed in the table
below. Note: These criteria were developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Other organizations may have different criteria for
Criteria for metabolic syndrome1
Abdominal obesity (waist
Men: 40 in. (102 cm) or more
Women: 35 in. (88 cm) or more
150 mg/dL or higher, or taking medicine
for high triglycerides
High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
Men: Less than 40 mg/dL
Women: Less than 50 mg/dL
Or taking medicine for low HDL
130/85 mm Hg or higher, or taking
medicine for high blood pressure
Fasting blood sugar
100 mg/dL or higher, or taking medicine
for high blood sugar