Symptoms and Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome

doctor handing lab results to patient

What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome?

Most of the conditions that make up metabolic syndrome have no signs or symptoms. But a large waistline is a visible sign of overweight or obesity. 

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions and is diagnosed by a health care professional. If you have a large waist circumference and other conditions that define metabolic syndrome including elevated triglycerides, high blood sugar or high blood pressure, be sure to discuss your risk for metabolic syndrome with your health care professional. 

How is metabolic syndrome diagnosed? 

Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when you have three or more of these conditions:

  • Central or abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference)
    • Men – greater than 40 inches
    • Women – greater than 35 inches
  • High triglycerides – 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or more, or you’re taking medicine for high triglycerides
  • Low HDL cholesterol, or you're taking medicine for low HDL cholesterol
    • Men – Less than 40 mg/dL
    • Women – Less than 50 mg/dL
  • High blood pressure – 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more, or you’re taking medicine for high blood pressure
  • High fasting glucose (blood sugar) – 100 mg/dL or more, or you’re taking medicine for high blood glucose
Download our Answers by Heart sheet: What is Metabolic Syndrome? (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)