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Cardiometabolic Syndrome

What is Cardiometabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors—high blood sugar, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and excessive belly fat—that raise your risks of serious illness.
When you have one these risk factors it's a major concern but when they are combined, they set the stage for severe health problems. These risk factors double your risk of heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack and stroke. They also increase your risk of diabetes by five times.

Risk Factors

The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute state the following five risk factors make up metabolic syndrome:

High Blood Sugar 100 mg/dL or higher
High Blood Pressure 135/85 Hg or greater or using a high blood pressure medicine
Cholesterol: High Triglycerides 150 mg/dL or high or using a cholesterol medicine
Cholesterol: Low HDL (good cholesterol) Men: Less than 40mg/dL
Women: Less than 50mg/dL
Or using cholesterol medicine
Belly Fat Men: 40 inches or larger
Women: 35 inches or larger

To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you would have at least three of these risk factors.

Who is at risk?

Those who are greater risk for metabolic syndrome have these underlying causes:

  • A large waistline
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Insulin resistance

Metabolic syndrome runs in families and is more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. The risks of developing metabolic syndrome increases as you age.

Others groups at increased risk for metabolic syndrome include:

  • People who have a sibling or parent who has diabetes
  • People who have personal history of diabetes
  • Women who have a personal history of polycystic ovarian syndrome

Signs and Symptoms

Most of the metabolic syndrome risk factors do not have any symptoms. You usually cannot feel high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Often, the only exterior sign is excessive belly fat.

The only way to find out if you have metabolic syndrome is to meet with your doctor. He or she will check your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Regular check-ups are key.


Because metabolic syndrome is a cluster of factors, many of which must be determine with lab work, this condition in not on the at an individual can assess without the help of healthcare provider.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating metabolic syndrome requires addressing several risk factors together. The goal is to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Since physical inactivity and excess weight are the main underlying contributors to the development of metabolic syndrome, getting more exercise and losing weight can help reduce or prevent the complications associated with this condition. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to manage some of your underlying problems. Some of the ways you can reduce your risk:

  • Eat better
  • Get active (exercise)
  • Lose weight
  • Take medications (if prescribed)
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Stop smoking