Metabolic syndrome (which is sometimes called insulin resistance syndrome, dysmetabolic syndrome, metabolic syndrome X, or just syndrome X) is not a specific disease. Like all syndromes, it is the condition of having several disorders, or medical problems, all at the same time.

If you have three or more of the following disorders your doctor might tell you that you have metabolic syndrome:

  • A large waistline (too much abdominal fat)
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High levels of fats found in the blood (triglycerides)
  • Low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol

An increase in blood clotting is sometimes considered part of the syndrome and some doctors add it to the list.

Having metabolic syndrome is serious. Once you have three or more of the disorders listed, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, kidney failure, coronary heart disease, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease is high.

In 2002, 47 million Americans could be described as having metabolic syndrome. By 2005, that number may have increased by more than 30 percent.

To learn more:

About Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
(American Heart Association)
Learn about diseases of blood vessels outside of the heart and brain. Learn the symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of these diseases.

next » What is Metabolic Syndrome

Written by: Christopher A. Colthorpe, M.A., M.A.Ed., M.L.I.S.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Tuesday August 14, 2018 10:36 AM