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Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome

A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of getting a disease or health problem. A person can have metabolic syndrome with or without the risks below. The more risks a person has, the greater the chances are.

Metabolic syndrome is more common in people aged 60 years and older.

Other things that raise the risk are:

  • Being overweight or obese—especially belly fat
  • Getting little or no exercise
  • A diet high in sugar, fats, and calories
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Certain medicines such as those to treat mental health problems
  • Family history of diabetes of metabolic syndrome


  • 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.
  • Prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/prevention-and-treatment-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.