Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It is diagnosed when at least three of the following are present: high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, large waistline, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and high fasting blood sugar.
The exact cause of metabolic syndrome is not known. It believed to be due to a combination of factors, such as:
Metabolic syndrome is more common in people who are Hispanic, Caucasian, or African American. Factors that may increase your chance of metabolic syndrome include:
Symptoms may include:
You may be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if you have:
*mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter of blood, mmol/L = millimoles per liter of blood
The treatment of metabolic syndrome involves:
Gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery may be helpful to treat metabolic syndrome if obesity is severe. Talk to your doctor to learn if this is an option for you.
To help reduce your chances of metabolic syndrome:
American Heart Association
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Diabetes Association
Batsis JA, Romero-Corral A, Collazo-Clavell ML, et al. Effect of bariatric surgery on the metabolic syndrome: a population-based, long-term controlled study. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008;83(8):897-907.
Deen D. Metabolic syndrome: time for action. Am Fam Physician. 2004;69(12):2875-2882.
Explore metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms. Updated November 3, 2011. Accessed June 4, 2014.
Gami AS, Witt BJ, Erwin PJ, et al. Metabolic syndrome and risk of incident cardiovascular events and death. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;49(4):403-414.
Grundy SM, Brewer HB, Cleeman JI, et al. Definition of metabolic syndrome: report of the NHLBI/AHA conference on scientific issues related to definition. Circulation. 2004;109(3):433-438.
Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Daniels SR. et al. AHA/NHLBI Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an AHA/NHLBI Scientific Statement. Circulation. 2005;112(17):2735-2752.
Metabolic syndrome. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MetabolicSyndrome/Metabolic-Syndrome_UCM_002080_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessed June 4, 2014.
Metabolic syndrome in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113812/Metabolic-syndrome-in-adults. Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed September 23, 2016.
Wright JT, Harris-Haywood S, Pressel S, et al. Clinical outcomes by race in hypertensive patients with and without the metabolic syndrome (ALLHAT). Arch Int Med. 2008;168(2):207-217.
1/13/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113812/Metabolic-syndrome-in-adults: Salas-Salvadó J, Fernández-Ballart J, Ros E, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts on metabolic syndrome status: one-year results of the PREDIMED randomized trial. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(22):2449-2458.
2/17/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113812/Metabolic-syndrome-in-adults: Davidson LE, Hudson R, Kilpatrick K, et al. Effects of exercise modality on insulin resistance and functional limitation in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(2):122-131.
5/11/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113812/Metabolic-syndrome-in-adults: Nettleton JA, Lutsey PL, Wang Y, et al. Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Diabetes Care. 2009;32(4):688-694.
1/22/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113812/Metabolic-syndrome-in-adults: Xu Y, Shen S, Sun L, et al. Metabolic syndrome risk after gestational diabetes: Asystematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e87863.
7/15/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113812/Metabolic-syndrome-in-adults: Dibaba DT, Xun P, Fly AD, Yokota K, He K. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of metabolic syndrome: A meta-analysis. Diabet Med. 2014;31(11):1301-1309.
Last reviewed February 2016 by Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.