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Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome

The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Metabolic syndrome is defined as 3 of the 5 listed below:

  • Fasting triglycerides–A certain kind of fat found in the blood. Higher than normal is 150 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or higher
  • Fasting blood glucose—This means 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher (or HbA1C 5.7-6.4%).
  • Blood pressure—Higher than normal is defined as a reading 130/85 mm Hg or more.
  • Extra fat around the waist or belly. It is defined as:
    • Waist size 40 inches (102 cm) or more in men (may differ with ethnic background or size)
    • Waist size 35 inches (89 cm) or more in women (may differ with ethnic background or size)
  • Fasting HDL cholesterol—HDL is called good cholesterol. It breaks down and removes bad cholesterol from the body. It is defined as:
    • Less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in men
    • Less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women

Tests Done In a Doctor's Office

  • Measure the waist around the hips and belly button
  • Blood pressure


  • Metabolic syndrome in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/metabolic-syndrome-in-adults.
  • Metabolic syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional-disorders/obesity-and-the-metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome.
  • Metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/metabolic-syndrome.
  • Symptoms and diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-and-diagnosis-of-metabolic-syndrome.


  • Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.