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What Is The Criteria For Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a set of risk factors that tend to cause heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes. It is not a single condition, but it covers a number of organs.[1] The modern unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle is the main reason for the development of such a condition. Age above 35 years, aggressive lifestyle and central belly fat are the main risk factors. High blood pressure, high triglyceride level, high waist circumference, and others are symptoms of the syndrome. It can be prevented or reversed if lifestyle and eating habits are modified.[2]

What Is The Criteria For Metabolic Syndrome?

The criteria for metabolic syndrome are-

According to American heart association, the following are the diagnostic criteria of metabolic syndrome-

  • The circumference of waist caused by central or abdominal obesity exceeds 102 cm (40 inches) in men and 80 cm (35 inches) in women
  • The fasting glucose level in the blood exceeds or equals to 100 mg/dL
  • Triglyceride levels (fat in the blood) exceeds or equals to 150 milligrams/deciliter of blood
  • High-density lipoproteins (HDL)levels (good cholesterol in blood) is lower than 40 mg/dL in men and lower than 50 mg/dL in women
  • Blood pressure is higher than or equal to 130/85 mm of mercury (mm Hg)
  • If any three of these criteria are found in a person, then, he or she is prone to have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke) and type 2 diabetes.[3]

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that trigger heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The person with metabolic syndrome may have type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke at the same time. This syndrome is also known as syndrome X, dysmetabolic syndrome and insulin resistance syndrome. It is named insulin resistance syndrome because a body is incapable to utilize insulin to burn glucose and fat in the same time.[4] It affects the blood vessels the most leading to serious complications.

Metabolic syndrome is marked by central obesity, high levels of glucose in fasting, high blood pressure, high levels of triglyceride and low levels of HDL (good cholesterol). It affects a number of organs and can cause life-threatening consequences. It affects one in every five Americans and one in every four British.[5]

Metabolic Syndrome Causes

Metabolic syndrome exact cause is not known. Overweight, abdominal obesity and inactive lifestyle are considered to be linked with metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance also leads to building up of glucose and triglyceride in the blood. It can be another cause of metabolic syndrome.

Family history and genetic predisposition to diabetes or gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) can elevate the chances of developing metabolic syndrome.[6]

Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors

The risk factors for metabolic syndrome involve-

  • Age above 35 years
  • Asian or African Caribbean race
  • Family history of metabolic syndrome
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Central obesity and fat deposition in the middle and upper parts of the body
  • Smoking
  • Regular alcohol intake
  • Associated diseases like polycystic ovary disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, etc[7]

Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms

Metabolic syndrome symptoms include

  • Large waist circumference
  • High blood pressure
  • High fasting glucose levels
  • High triglyceride level
  • Low good cholesterol level
  • Blackening of skin
  • Frequent incidences deep vein thrombosis

Metabolic Syndrome Complications

Metabolic syndrome may induce complications that can be serious, long-term and life-threatening. These health complications involve-

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels)
  • Heart ailments
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Eye damage due to diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Nerve damage due to diabetes
  • Amputation of limbs[8]


Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of diseases that develop in-person risking him to have a heart attack, stroke or diabetes. It is diagnosed on the basis of criteria established by the American Heart Association that includes high blood pressure, central obesity, high fasting sugar levels and others discussed above.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 31, 2022

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