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 or are taking medication to control them:

  • Large waist circumference — a waistline that measures at least 35 inches (89 centimeters) for women and 40 inches (102 centimeters) for men
  • High triglyceride level — 150 milligrams per deciliter,(mg/dL), or 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or higher of this type of fat found in blood
  • Reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women of this "good" cholesterol
  • Increased blood pressure — 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher
  • Elevated fasting blood sugar — 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher
March 19, 2016
  1. Metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms. Accessed Jan. 18, 2016.
  2. Meigs JB. The metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2016.
  3. O'Neill S, et al. Metabolic syndrome: A closer look at the epidemic and its associated pathologies. Obesity Reviews. 2015;16:1.