The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions. Identifying and treating these underlying conditions that make up metabolic syndrome can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Screening Guidelines for Central Obesity

When you have a physical exam, your doctor can measure your waist circumference.

Screening Guidelines for Blood Pressure

All adults should have their blood pressure checked during physical exams. If blood pressure is under 120/80 mm Hg, it can be rechecked in 2 years. For people with systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of 80-90 mm Hg, rechecks are recommended every year.

Screening Guidelines for Cholesterol

A fasting lipid panel analyzes total cholesterol, as well as LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels in the blood. Every adult 20 years and older should be tested. If your test results show a high risk for coronary artery disease, it is recommended that you get it rechecked within one year.

In people with less or no risk, retesting may only need to be done every 2-5 years.

Screening Guidelines for Blood Glucose

Glucose tests check your blood sugar levels to make sure they are within normal range. Glucose tests are used for screening and diagnosing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends screening in adults 45 years and older, every 3 years as long as the test result is within normal range.

People who are overweight or obese should be tested regardless of age if one or more of the following factors are present:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Family history
  • African American, Native American, Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander ethnicity
  • History of gestational diabetes or birth of baby weighing over 9 pounds
  • Blood pressure at or above 140/90 mm Hg
  • HDL cholesterol under 35 mg/dL or triglycerides over 250 mg/dL
  • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Previous glucose testing indicating higher than normal results
  • History of cardiovascular disease

People with prediabetes should be tested every year.