Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although your doctor is not typically looking for metabolic syndrome, the label may apply if you have three or more of the traits associated with this condition.

Several organizations have criteria for diagnosing metabolic syndrome. These guidelines were created by the National Cholesterol Education Program with modifications by the American Heart Association. According to these guidelines, you have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of these traits:

  • Large waist circumference, greater than 35 inches (89 cm) for women and 40 inches (102 cm) for men. Certain genetic risk factors, such as having a family history of diabetes or being of Asian descent — which increases your risk of insulin resistance — lower the waist circumference limit. If you have one of these genetic risk factors, waist circumference limits are 31 inches (79 cm) for women and 35 to 37 inches (89 to 94 cm) for men.
  • A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) or higher, or you're receiving treatment for high triglycerides.
  • Reduced HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) — less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women, or you're receiving treatment for low HDL.
  • Increased blood pressure, meaning a systolic (top number) blood pressure measurement of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more or a diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure measurement of 85 mm Hg or more.
  • Elevated fasting blood sugar (blood glucose) of 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher, or you're receiving treatment for high blood sugar.
Apr. 05, 2013

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.