The risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome -- unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess belly fat -- raise your odds of serious health problems. These include diabetes and blood vessel or heart disease.
Specifically, metabolic syndrome can lead to arteriosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries." This is when fats, cholesterol, and other substances stick to the sides of the arteries. The arteries then become clogged and brittle. Blood clots form when the arterial walls are damaged. If a blood clot forms, it can cause a heart attack or stroke.