Symptoms and Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome

Updated:Jul 24,2014

Senior Woman With DaughterWhat are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome?

Because metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors, many of which must be determined with lab work, this condition is not one that an individual can assess without the help of a healthcare provider. However, if you have a large waist circumference and have been told by your healthcare provider that you have another condition like elevated triglycerides, high blood sugar or high blood pressure, you may want to discuss your combined risks with your healthcare provider.

How is metabolic syndrome diagnosed?

To diagnose metabolic syndrome, most doctors look for the presence of three or more of these components:

  • Central or abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference):
    • Men - 40 inches or above
    • Women - 35 inches or above
  • Triglycerides greater than or equal to 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL)
  • HDL cholesterol:
    • Men - Less than 40 mg/dL
    • Women - Less than 50 mg/dL
  • Blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mmHg)
  • Fasting glucose greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL

These criteria were agreed upon by the International Diabetes Federation; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; and International Association for the Study of Obesity

*Medication for improving this risk factor is an alternate indicator.


This content was last reviewed on 05/14/2014.


Metabolic Syndrome

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