Metabolic syndrome is often found based on a physical exam, including blood pressure and weight measurements, and blood tests.
While there is some difference of opinion between expert medical groups, in general you have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of the following:
- A large waistline or excess fat around your belly, which is more risky for heart disease than fat elsewhere on the body. This is also called central obesity, which is defined as having a waist size of ≥40 inches for men, ≥35 inches for women. Cutoffs may differ by ethnicity, so talk with your health care provider.
- Serum triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood) of ≥150 mg/dL or if you’re on medicine to treat elevated triglycerides
- Fasting blood sugar level ≥100 mg/dL or if you already have type 2 diabetes
- Borderline or high blood pressure: top number (systolic) ≥130 mmHg or bottom number (diastolic) ≥85 mmHg or if you are taking blood pressure-lowering medication
- Low HDL or “good” cholesterol level of <40 mg/dL in men and <50 mg/dL for women; HDL cholesterol helps remove bad cholesterol from your arteries
The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.