Metabolic syndrome

Synonyms: Dysmetabolic syndrome, Syndrome X

Medical Specialties: Cardiology, Family practice, Internal medicine

Clinical Definition

Metabolic syndrome is a term used to describe a cluster of risk factors for coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and diabetes. There are five characteristics of the syndrome including elevated triglyceride levels, hypertension and central obesity. Additional characteristics include insulin resistance and low high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

In Our Own Words

Metabolic syndrome is not a specific disease. It is a group of symptoms or conditions that increase a person’s chances of developing heart disease. Metabolic syndrome also appears to increase the risk of a stroke and diabetes.


Although any of the five risk factors may occur on its own, when three or more are present, a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome may be made. The conditions associated with the syndrome are high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol, high fasting blood sugar and high amounts of fat around the waist.

Relevant Conditions
Side Effects
  • Abdominal obesity (apple shape)
  • High triglycerides and/or low HDL
  • High blood pressure
  • High fasting blood glucose level
Share this article
  • National Heart. Lung and Blood Institute. "What is Metabolic Syndrome?" Accessed October 2013.
  • NYU Langone Medical Center. "Metabolic Syndrome." Accessed October 2013.
  • The University of Chicago Medicine. "Metabolic Syndrome." Accessed October 2013.
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