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What Are The Components Of Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is the condition in which higher risk of development of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes exists. Various components need to be identified which increases the risk of this condition and they should be managed in their early phase.

What Are The Components Of Metabolic Syndrome?

Body Size: Body size or waist circumference or abdominal obesity is one of the components for metabolic syndrome. It has been shown that abdominal obesity should be the primary thing that should be taken care of to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. This may include reducing the belly fat through exercise or nutrition or through diet. Increase obesity relates to the increased adipose cells which increases the risk of insulin resistance.[1] It is defined as the condition in which the BMI is greater than 30 kg/m2 and the waist hip ratio greater than 0.9 in men and 0.85 in women.

Insulinemia: Insulin resistance increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. When the food is absorbed in the form of carbohydrates, insulin is required for entering the carbohydrates in to the cells in order to convert it into energy. When there is an insulin resistance i.e. the cells of the body do not able to recognize insulin, liver produces more insulin leading to hyperinsulinemia.[2] People with obesity are at high risk of developing insulin resistance. Further, the patients with insulin resistance are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Blood Pressure: Hypertension is another component of metabolic syndrome which increases the risk of this disease. To reduce the chances of development of metabolic syndrome due to high blood pressure, the hypertension should be managed through diet changes, exercise, reducing obesity, avoiding salt from the diet and avoiding the use of alcohol. Unmanaged hypertension may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and damage of organs such as kidney.[3] In case the hypertension is not managed by lifestyle changes the efforts should be shifted to maintain the blood pressure with the help of anti-hypertensive drugs.

Lipid Metabolism: Lipid metabolism involves the condition wherein there is a low let of HDL, which is also known as protective form of cholesterol and increase in the level of triglycerides. Low level of HDL increases the risk of coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular diseases.[4] It has been found that people with low level of HDL are at similar risk as they are having high LDL levels for the development of coronary heart disease. High levels of triglycerides also increase the risk of atherosclerosis and increase the plaque formation in the vessels. Triglycerides may be obtained from food as well as synthesized by the liver.[5] Intake of excess alcohol also triggers the synthesis of triglycerides. Further, high triglycerides level also reduces the level of HDL.

Impaired Glucose Tolerance And Impaired Fasting Glucose: Impaired glucose tolerance is defined as the condition in which patient immediately raised the glucose level after 2 ours of glucose test but these levels are lesser than what is to be needed to qualify for diabetes. Impaired glucose tolerance carries more risk for converting to diabetes in comparison to impaired fasting glucose which is characterized by the level of fasting plasma glucose between 110mg/dl to 125mg/dl.[6] This condition is known as prediabetic condition and can be managed with lifestyle changes. These conditions increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Proinflammatory Conditions: Various factors combine to develop metabolic syndrome. Some researches argue that insulin resistance is the root cause of other risk factors while according to some researchers it is obesity which is the root cause of developing other factors.[7] Recent researches have associated the high level of pro-inflammatory condition to metabolic syndrome due to the presence of high level of -reactive protein in metabolic syndrome. High levels of C-reactive protein add up to the risk which is already enhanced brother factors for the development of metabolic syndrome. Further, insulin resistance also leads to the generation of cytokines.[8]


Major components of the metabolic syndrome include obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, low HDL, high triglycerides, glucose intolerance and pro-inflammatory conditions. These components should be identified and managed at the initial stage.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 10, 2022

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