Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Several organizations have criteria for diagnosing metabolic syndrome. According to guidelines used by the National Institutes of Health, you have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of these traits:

  • Large waist circumference. This is defined as a waistline that measures at least 35 inches (89 centimeters) for women and 40 inches (102 centimeters) for men.
  • High triglyceride level. Count this trait on your checklist if your triglyceride level is at least 150 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL, (1.7 millimoles per liter, or mmol/L), or if you're receiving treatment for high triglycerides.
  • Reduced HDL cholesterol. Tally another mark on your checklist if your levels of this "good" cholesterol are less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women, or if you're receiving treatment for low HDL.
  • Increased blood pressure. This condition is met if you are taking blood pressure medications or if your blood pressure is at least 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
  • Elevated fasting blood sugar. Count this trait if you have a blood sugar level of at least 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or if you take medications to control your high blood sugar.
Aug. 22, 2014