Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome puts you at risk for:
Are You at Risk?
Factors that increase your risk of metabolic syndrome include:
- Mexican American, Caucasian and African American ethnicity
- Having disorders or conditions associated with metabolic disorder such as:
- Cholesterol problems
- Coronary artery disease
- Having a family history of the disorders listed above
- Physical inactivity
- Poor diet
- Unhealthy habits, such as smoking
- Certain medication, such as atypical antipsychotics
How We Diagnose Metabolic Syndrome
We may diagnose you with metabolic syndrome if you have at least three of the following:
- A waist measurement greater than 40 inches in Caucasian men (35 inches in Asian men) or 35 inches in Caucasian women (30 inches in Asian women)
- Fasting glucose level greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL* (5.55 mmol/L)
- Triglyceride level greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
- HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in men and less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women
- Blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)
*mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter blood, mmol/L = millimoles per liter blood
Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome
It's important to treat any underlying causes of metabolic syndrome. Treatment may include the following:
- Reduce excess weight by at least 10%
- Increase physical activity to 30-60 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise four or more days per week
- Lower blood pressure to below 130/85 mmHg with diet, exercise and possibly medication
- Improve triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels through diet, exercise and possibly medication
Treatment of Specific Metabolic Abnormality
Medication can help you manage:
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- High cholesterol
- Clotting tendency
Metabolic Syndrome Prevention
To reduce your chances of metabolic syndrome, take these steps:
- Quit smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Exercise about 30 minutes at least four days per week.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
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Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.