MSD Manual

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Quick Facts

Metabolic Syndrome

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Dec 2019| Content last modified Dec 2019
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What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is very common in the United States. People with metabolic syndrome have:

What causes metabolic syndrome?

The cause of metabolic syndrome isn't known.

You're more likely to get metabolic syndrome if you store fat around your belly (you're apple-shaped) instead of your hips (you're pear-shaped). This happens in:

Metabolic syndrome can affect children and teens as well.

What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome?

How can doctors tell if I have metabolic syndrome?

Doctors diagnose you with metabolic syndrome if you have a large waist—40 inches (102 centimeters) or more in men and 35 inches (89 centimeters) or more in women—and 2 or more of the following:

  • High fasting blood sugar level (100 or higher)

  • High blood pressure (130/85 or higher OR you are taking blood pressure medicine)

  • High amount of fats in your blood (triglycerides of 150 or higher)

  • A low level of HDL ("good" cholesterol)

How do doctors treat metabolic syndrome?

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