The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:

  • Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age, affecting less than 10 percent of people in their 20s and 40 percent of people in their 60s. However, warning signs of metabolic syndrome can appear during childhood.
  • Race. Hispanics and Asians seem to be at greater risk of metabolic syndrome than are people of other races.
  • Obesity. A body mass index (BMI) — a measure of your percentage of body fat based on height and weight — greater than 25 increases your risk of metabolic syndrome. So does abdominal obesity — having an apple shape rather than a pear shape.
  • History of diabetes. You're more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or a history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
  • Other diseases. A diagnosis of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or polycystic ovary syndrome — a similar type of metabolic problem that affects a woman's hormones and reproductive system — also increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.
Apr. 05, 2013